LONDON - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson bowed in thanks to the fans at Old Trafford after his team beat Chelsea 2-1 on Sunday to all but clinch a record 19th English League title.
Ferguson, on the brink of a leading United to the title for the 12th time since his first success in 1993, needs just one point from two matches against Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool to seal the triumph.
They could end the season with two trophies if they beat Barcelona in the Champions League final on May 28 and Ferguson was asked whether bowing to the crowd was a gesture of thanks.
"Yes, they were absolutely magnificent, especially in the last 10 or 15 minutes, they were fantastic," he said.
United took the lead when Javier Hernandez scored after 37 seconds and doubled it when Nemanja Vidic headed in a Ryan Giggs cross.
Chelsea pulled a goal back through Frank Lampard to increase the tension at Old Trafford but United held on.
"I thought we were brilliant, we got a fantastic start and did really well," Ferguson told Sky Sports.
"It was a good team performance. When we gave the ball away for their goal, it got a little bit nervous but the fans helped us a lot. We kept making chances and Wayne Rooney could have scored six today."
The fans saluted Ferguson and thanked him for yet another glorious day at Old Trafford where United have won 17 of their 18 Premier League games this season.
They are also on the verge of over-hauling Liverpool as the most successful English club in terms of league titles.
When Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford in 1986 Liverpool had won 16 titles to United's seven and he vowed to "knock Liverpool off their perch."
"It's fantastic to be the most successful team in the country in terms of championship victories," Ferguson said.
"When I first arrived here I would have been happy to stay for four or five years. It took time to get the foundation of the club right, but once we got that first title, the door just opened and we improved and improved and improved."
Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti said the better team had won.
"United was really strong today and it was hard for us to come back. When a team plays better than you, you have to accept it, Manchester United deserved to win today so there is no disappointment. We were not at our best."
He also conceded that United deserved to succeed Chelsea as champions.
"They only need one point so they are comfortable to win the title, they deserve to win the title and we have to accept it," he said.
"We have to do our best in the last two games to try and finish in second place."