Wayne Rooney kept his cool from the penalty spot to win Manchester United's 19th league title with a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers.
United needed a point to regain the Premier League trophy from Chelsea, but were up against a Rovers side keen to rubber-stamp their top-flight future and only a disputed 73rd-minute spot-kick secured them the draw they wanted.
Both sides had chances to score early on before goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak's flapping led to Brett Emerton's volleyed opener for the hosts after 20 minutes. United were seriously up against it - Martin Olsson hit the woodwork with a header for Blackburn - and struggled to recover until the flashpoint with 20 minutes left.
When Javier Hernandez was put through on goal, Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson rushed out and the Mexican managed to knock the ball out of harm's way before going down after contact. After consulting his assistant, Phil Dowd awarded the penalty and Rooney powered home the kick with Robinson diving the wrong way.
"I was terrified, the ref took a long time to give it," Rooney told Sky Sports in relation to the penalty. "I had to compose myself, I'd been practising all week." Rooney, who earlier in the season stunned United by handing in a transfer request, added: "After the year I've had, with the ups and downs, this is for the fans and the team."
United's latest triumph gave both manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Ryan Giggs a 12th English title. "It's a tough league to win and it's still as special as ever," Giggs said. "Twenty years ago we were nowhere near Liverpool. It's great credit to the club, the manager and the players and it's a good feeling to be ahead of our greatest rivals."
"It was a fantastic performance by the lads and the supporters and for everybody connected with the club it's a great day," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "It wasn't an easy game, we went 1-0 down having given them a bad goal but we kept on and we don't give in," he added. "It is a local [north West] derby and they [Rovers] are fighting for their lives, looking for that point, but we kept going and that's a good quality."
This draw ensured United wrapped up the domestic title ahead of both next week's clash with relegation-threatened Blackpool and the UEFA Champions League final against Spanish giants Barcelona at Wembley in a fortnight.
"It's a bonus for us, now we can consider who should be rested and who should not be rested," said Ferguson, who vowed to respect all the other clubs facing the drop by fielding a competitive team against Blackpool.
"I know there is all this talk about what our team will be next week but, in fairness to all the clubs, we'll be fair, don't worry about, we'll go out to win that game." And Ferguson insisted there was no question of him retiring any time soon. "No, no, no. I feel good."
Blackpool boost survival hopes
In the relegation fight, an exhilarating clash at Bloomfield Road saw third-bottom Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3 to boost their survival hopes. Kevin Davies rifled Bolton ahead in the sixth minute but three minutes later, the fighting Seasiders were level through DJ Campbell.
Jason Puncheon put Blackpool in front and after Matthew Taylor made it 2-2, Campbell scored again to complete a thrilling first half. It was 3-3 early in the second half when Lee Chung-Yong got to the byline and, with goalkeeper Matthew Gilks committed, centred for Daniel Sturridge to head home.
But a typically sweeping Tangerines move saw Charlie Adam fire his side ahead with another great finish in the 63rd minute to give Ian Holloway's side a real chance of survival heading into the final game.
Wolves wallop Sunderland
Wolverhampton Wanderers produced arguably their performance of the season to win 3-1 at Sunderland and climb above Birmingham City into 16th. Centre-half Jody Craddock showed excellent technique in the 22nd minute to steer the ball home with a first-time shot at the far post from Stephen Hunt's left-wing cross.
Sunderland deservedly equalised through Stephane Sessegnon's acrobatic volley in the 34th minute but early in the second half Wolves were back in front. After being thrown on by Mick McCarthy at the resumption, Ryan Jarvis bombed down the right before standing up a perfectly-weighted cross for Steven Fletcher to head home.
With 12 minutes remaining, George Elokobi headed a third to wrap up what could prove to be a defining victory for Wolves.
Youssouf Mulumbu's goal gave West Bromwich Albion a 1-0 win at home to Everton, the midfielder putting the Baggies ahead with a close-range left-footed strike after typically incisive work from Peter Odemwingie on the right. Everton's cause was not helped by a red card for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov late on.