Park peerless in United's decisive victory
It is almost impossible to pick out individuals in analysing why Manchester United recorded a deserved victory over Chelsea which all but seals a record 19th top-flight league title.
The overall team display at Old Trafford swept away any doubts that United warrant a 12th Premier League crown with their defence solid, the midfield of Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs working in almost perfect tandem and the frontline of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez a force up front.
Park Ji-sung's display was chief among the highlights too, particularly the South Korean's work-rate and cleverness which helped to thwart Chelsea's three-man midfield.
The 30-year-old is often preferred on the left of midfield in United's big games and although his defensive qualities put him ahead of Nani in the pecking order, he also offers a different slant to their attack.
This was evident right from the beginning of the game when Giggs expertly found Park in an inside-left position, before he put Hernandez through for his 37-second opener which set the tone for a pulsating first half.
That key pass to Park is highlighted below, and the areas in which his team-mates found him was markedly different to Antonio Valencia on the right.
It also provided some interesting clues about a developing midfield with United's Champions League final against Barcelona looming on the horizon.
"Firstly, Park set the tempo of the United team right from the start" says former Arsenal full-back and Match of the Day 2 pundit Lee Dixon. "They obviously had been primed to start quickly but they took Chelsea by surprise and I thought he was the main catalyst for that.
"His work-rate is a given and what we come to expect from him, but I thought his intelligence of when to close down when Chelsea had the ball, and his selection of space at the right time was brilliant.
"In attack he also occupies narrower positions but that makes the full-back think because he can go wide as well. He picks the ball up in areas that full-backs don't necessarily like to go in and mark.
"We tend to like staying in our area not too far away from our centre-back, and we feel uncomfortable when we go into that inside-left area unless we have really good cover. It's something that puts you in two minds: do I go in and mark him or do I stay where I am?
"The safe thing to do is stay where you are but because Park is so good on the ball like we saw for the goal, he is a dangerous person to leave alone. I thought he did a brilliant job and he tore Ivanovic to pieces at times."
You could argue that United selected a five-man midfield again, with Rooney dropping in to help out Giggs, Carrick, Park and Antonio Valencia. But where the formationfailed last week against Arsenal, this time they were fluid in attack and solid in defence.
The key thing here is that although it might appear that Rooney was the only one playing in the space between Chelsea's defence and midfield the truth was that there were actually three of them: Rooney, Park and Giggs.
And for someone like Chelsea's defensive midfielder John Mikel Obi that proved a nightmare.
Giggs may tend to carry the ball into that area rather receiving it there, but he was sorely missing from United's midfield at the Emirates last Sunday and based on recent European performances he is proving a perfect foil alongside Carrick.
When Carrick plays with Anderson or Paul Scholes, the central midfield pair line up more side-by-side, whereas with Giggs in the side Carrick plays a lot deeper, allowing the Welshman to probe in front of him.
That gives Giggs the chance to collect the ball in midfield and run at defenders, which commits them to a challenge. When this happens it can also leave gaps for Rooney and Hernandez.
Although Park moving infield might leave United narrow on the left side in attack, usually they have Patrice Evra who can overlap from full-back and fill the space that Park vacates.
When they are defending, Park is smart enough and fit enough to track back and decide whether to remain wide to help John O'Shea, as he did on Sunday, or come infield to assist.
That also goes for Valencia who tends to hug the touchline more on the right but was willing to shadow Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole.
Without that outlet on the left Chelsea were very narrow, which suited Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
"This week United got the balance right in midfield and got help in the right areas," Dixon adds. "Both Valencia and Park went back which sometimes freed one of the defenders to actually step into midfield from a defensive position.
"Valencia will run all day, there were loads of times when he was at right-back, and the amount of times Cole got in behind United's defence were few and far between so it shows he was doing his job.
"Chelsea's wider players Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou tried to hunt for the ball, but they didn't stay that wide that often.
"Chelsea had lots of players who were very quiet and they just got hit by Manchester United who were in an attacking frame of mind. It surprised them and I think they thought that United would sit back and hit them on the break, therefore almost waiting for a draw. In fact, they did the opposite."
It may be stretching it to say that United will have learned useful lessons before they take on Barcelona at Wembley on 28 May, as the Catalans will offer a completely different conundrum to Chelsea.
Yet in the midfield where United's problems seemed to have stemmed from this season, they now appear to have made progress at exactly the right time.
And more importantly, if they begin the Champions League final at the same tempo they may just be able to catch out their opponents again.