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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

United Targets 2nd Double

LONDON -- Gifted individuals, superb teamwork and a flair for open, attacking soccer have been the hallmarks of the triumphant Manchester United side which now has the elusive double in its sights. After clinching its second successive premier league title on Monday, Alex Ferguson's side is set to re-write the record books. Manchester United has already scored more goals and collected more points this season than when it won the title last year. Just one victory from its last two league matches will give it 91 points -- the highest championship-winning total since three points for a win was introduced in England in 1981. But a far more elusive record is now within reach as United bids to become only the sixth team in history to win the F.A. Cup and league double in the same season. The double has been won only by Preston (1889), Aston Villa (1897), Tottenham (1961), Arsenal (1971) and Liverpool (1986) and United will join them if it beats Chelsea in the Cup Final on May 14. Ferguson has dedicated the title triumph to his fellow Scot, Sir Matt Busby -- the patriarch of the club who died in January -- and now wants his team to win the double, something that just eluded the "Busby Babes" in 1957 when they won the title but lost the Cup Final. "We said, almost from the moment that Sir Matt passed away, that we wanted to win the title for him again and now we want to make it a double honor in his memory," said Ferguson. "Our next target is to win the F.A. Cup. That would be a marvellous tribute to Sir Matt." When Blackburn, United's only challenger, lost 2-1 at Coventry the title was secured as United could not be caught. It became the first club for 10 seasons to retain the championship, a feat it last achieved under Busby in 1956 and 1957. And coincidentally for the second successive season United clinched the title without actually playing. Ferguson did not even watch Blackburn's match on television, instead he took his family out for a meal to celebrate the birth of his first grandson. "It's a real double celebration," he said. "The little fella is a fine young man. And it's fabulous for the club to retain our title." The precocious brilliance of Ryan Giggs, 20, the darting wing-play of Ukrainian Andrei Kanchelskis, the superb finishing of Mark Hughes and the inspirational creativity of Frenchman Eric Cantona, the first overseas player voted the Players' Player of the Year, have overwhelmed defenses this season. The side's achievements have won praise from Bobby Charlton, one of its greatest players and now a United director. "I am convinced that this United team,"he said, "must be recognised as one of the greatest if not the greatest of all time at Old Trafford." Probably not even Sir Matt Busby would argue with that. n In an English premier league relegation battle, Sheffield United had goalkeeper Simon Tracey sent off Tuesday, but held on for a 1-1 draw in the highly charged away match to Oldham Athletic. Tracey was dismissed 18 minutes from time for a professional foul on Sean McCarthy, cutting the striker down a meter outside the area as he chased a through ball. Reserve keeper Alan Kelly came on as a substitute. Veteran Alan Cork, 35 last month, opened the scoring for the visitors in the 10th minute with his 152nd league goal. Darren Beckford equalised for Oldham. Sheffield United, one point and two places above the bottom three, is away to F.A. Cup finalist Chelsea in their last game on Saturday. Oldham, one from bottom with two games remaining, is at home to fellow relegation candidate Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday and away to Norwich on Saturday.