First to seventh and a 33-point swing from the previous season does not make pretty reading for Manchester United fans after their neighbours upstaged them in the title race.
While deposed Premier League champions United were toiling to a 1-1 final day draw against Southampton, Manchester City were winning their second top flight crown inside three seasons to beat their rivals by 22 points, a 33-point difference from the final standings last year.
Juan Mata’s sensational second-half free-kick rescued a point on Sunday but the Red Devils missed out on the dubious honour of Europa League football thanks to Spurs’ victory over Aston Villa.
Rather than dwell on a poor season all round, interim player-manager Ryan Giggs led the tributes to the fans and promised next season things will improve.
“The fans have supported us throughout the season and they showed it again today – they never stopped,” Giggs told MUTV.
“Obviously they’ve been lucky to win so much over the years but this year hasn’t been our year.
“We’ll come back bigger and better.”
Giggs was joined by a host of other United players who took to Twitter to thank the fans, among them record signing Mata and fellow Spaniard David De Gea, who scooped player of the season last week.
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) May 11, 2014
See you next season. We promise to give you more happy moments. Thanks for being there always! #MUFC
— David De Gea (@D_DeGea) May 11, 2014
Once again our fans were amazing, support has been exceptional from start until end of season, thanks. We will be back stronger next season!
— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 11, 2014
Nemanja Vidic played his 300th and final game for United at Southampton before he joins Inter for next season.
Vidic could not prevent Rickie Lambert from giving the Saints the lead at St. Mary’s before half-time before Mata’s equaliser ensured United avoided a 13th defeat of the season.
While there is still no news on the appointment of David Moyes’ successor as Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal is widely expected to be the man given the job.
Giggs appeared to suggest that news on that front may be coming sooner rather than later.
“We’re all waiting to see what happens with the managerial situation,” Giggs said.
“I’m sure there’ll be something in the next week or so.”
Main image courtesy of Jason Cairnduff/Action Images, with thanks.