Heading into the season United had not won a league title since 1967, but the shoots of recovery were evident after lifting the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup in the space of two years, silverware that had proved club bosses were right to stick with Ferguson following a rocky start to his reign in 1986. The Red Devils had to chase Aston Villa for much of the season but ended up comfortable winners by ten points, with the likes of Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Eric Cantona, signed halfway through the campaign, at the forefront of their success.
United not only managed to retain their title the following year, they also won the FA Cup to claim the first domestic Double in their history. Ferguson's men set the pace this time to finish eight points ahead of Blackburn, with Cantona becoming the first player from outside the British Isles to be named PFA Player of the Year. Roy Keane also established himself as a key member of the side after arriving in a big-money deal, adding even more energy and spark to an already fearsome midfield.
Having been knocked off their perch by Blackburn in 1994/95, United went into the new season with much to prove. They were written off in some quarters after an opening day loss to Aston Villa, but by the end of the campaign had demonstrated that they could 'win with kids' after claiming another league and cup Double. It could have been different if Newcastle had maintained their early form, but United's youthful side barely put a foot wrong after the turn of the year and reeled in their rivals to win by four points.
Newcastle again mounted a strong title challenge, inflicting a crushing 5-0 defeat on United along the way, while Arsenal and Liverpool also applied pressure in a keenly-contested battle for top spot. But the Red Devils again displayed remarkable resilience and were by now developing a reputation for hitting their stride in the second half of the season, a trait which remains engraved to this day. New Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made an instant impact, while David Beckham's goal from inside his own half against Wimbledon was perhaps the iconic moment of the season.
A campaign that made history as United became the first English club to win the UEFA Champions League as well as a league and cup Double at home. Having seen Arsenal walk away with both major domestic trophies in 1997/98, United needed to reassert their superiority and they could not have achieved it in better style. The Premier League title race went down to the final weekend and the Red Devils needed to come from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Tottenham that left them just one point clear of the Gunners. Other highlights included an extraordinary 8-1 victory away to Nottingham Forest.
Buoyed by the previous season's achievements, United were a class apart in the Premier League in 1999/2000. Yet again they saved their best form for January onwards, storming away from the chasing pack to finish a mammoth 18 points clear of nearest challengers Arsenal. The Red Devils lost just three league games all season and scored an incredible 97 goals, with strike duo Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole at the peak of their powers in a lethal partnership up front.
Ferguson became the first manager to win three consecutive English league titles when he steered United to another crown in 2001, before dropping out of the top two the following year as Arsenal pipped Liverpool to the crown. But the Red Devils bounced back in 2002/03, embarking on a glorious run after the turn of the year to finish five points above Arsenal. Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was the leading scorer in the division and there were impressive contribution from the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Beckham, who left for Real Madrid at the end of the season.
United had to take a back seat for three years as Arsenal's 'Invincibles' took centre stage in 2004, before Jose Mourinho guided Chelsea to back-to-back titles. But Ferguson has always been able to build new teams and handle the threat of new challengers emerging, and in 2006/07 the Red Devils reclaimed their place at the summit. Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney had always been regarded as special talents and came of age to win their first titles at Old Trafford. With the experienced Giggs and Scholes complementing their younger team-mates in attack and a reliable defence comprising Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, it was a formidable cocktail that proved too strong for everybody else.
United carried on where they left off the previous season and held their nerve to finish two points clear of Chelsea, who had parted with Mourinho early in the campaign and appointed Avram Grant in his place. The Red Devils were even tighter at the back, keeping 21 clean sheets in the league and conceding just 22 goals, while Ronaldo scored a staggering 31 times despite playing predominantly as a winger. While the Champions League final victory over Chelsea may have been the most memorable moment of the season for United fans, the highlight domestically was perhaps a 6-0 win against Newcastle when all the goals came in the second half.
Old rivals Liverpool threatened to end their own title drought but ultimately could not prevent United from drawing level with them on 18 league crowns. Ferguson's men were consistent throughout the year and boasted an array of attacking talent that could not be rivalled domestically, having added Dimitar Berbatov to a strikeforce that already contained Rooney, Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez before the start of the season. A goalless draw with Arsenal on the penultimate weekend of the season sparked the title celebrations.