Man U wins record 19th English Crown
BLACKBURN, England — An achievement 25 years in the making, Manchester United, owned by the Bucs' Glazer family, finally became the most successful team in English league history Saturday with a 19th title triumph that surpassed Liverpool's record.
With only a point required at Blackburn to capture the Premier League trophy with a game to spare, Wayne Rooney salvaged a 1-1 draw from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute.
"It's very good, a long day … it was agony at times there," coach Alex Ferguson said. "It was a disappointing game to be honest, but I'm not particularly bothered by that … the important thing is being the most successful."
Ferguson took charge of United in 1986 with a vow to knock Liverpool "off their perch." Liverpool had just stretched its lead over United to 16-7 in titles and by 1990 it had won 18.
But United kept its faith in Ferguson, and in 1993 he ended the club's 26-year wait for another league crown. Eleven more have followed since.
"Hopefully, we will keep it going for a long time," said Ferguson, 69, who has no plans to retire.
In the FA Cup final, Yaya Toure scored to give Manchester City a 1-0 win over Stoke.
In France, Lille beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 to win the French Cup for the sixth time.
Nadal next as Djokovic streak reaches 38
No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic will resume their rivalry in the Italian Open final today in Rome.
Nadal, who has won this event five of the past six years, overcame Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-1 in one semifinal. Djokovic was pushed before extending his unbeaten streak to 38 matches, beating Andy Murray 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2).
In the women's final, Maria Sharapova meets part-time Tampa resident Sam Stosur. Sharapova beat No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3, and Stosur downed Li Na 7-6 (8-6), 6-0.
Djokovic beat Nadal in title matches in Indian Wells and Miami this year then won in Madrid last weekend.
"I know Djokovic is playing at an exceptional level right now," Nadal said, "but I just have to fight to the end like I always do."
UF lacrosse advances
Janine Hillier and Kitty Cullen each scored four goals and No. 4 Florida (16-3), a second-year program, beat visiting Stanford (16-3) 13-11 in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament. The Gators will host today's Duke-Penn winner at 3 p.m. Saturday.
track: The Gators' Will Claye (men's long jump) and Genevieve LaCaze (women's steeplechase) each captured individual titles at the SEC outdoor championships at Georgia. The UF women lead through eight of 21 events with 50 points. Georgia is second (49). The Georgia men lead through seven events with 68 points, while Florida is second (51).
Greyhounds: Hi Noon Renegade won his seventh consecutive race and Speedy Sprocket also prevailed in third-round qualifying in the $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. Qualifying concludes Wednesday.
Hockey: Finland and Sweden will meet in the world championship final for the fourth time today in Slovakia. Sweden, chasing its ninth title, beat Finland in 1992 and '98, and Finland topped Sweden in their 1995 meeting to claim its lone title.
Horses: Alternation could be headed to the Belmont Stakes on June 11 after beating Adios Charlie by a head in the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.
Swimming: Peng Wu overcame Olympian Michael Phelps in the final 50 meters in the 200 fly at the Charlotte (N.C.) UltraSwim.
Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires