Just think - even without the pressure on the squad that comes with a European campaign (or even a Capital One Cup campaign, just in case we were in danger of forgetting that MK Dons game), United stumbled to a fourth place finish, just six points clear of a shambolic Spurs team.
On Saturday Barcelona and Juventus will battle it out for Europe's top price at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. It almost seems too good to be true. It's what some people would call 'a proper European Cup final'.
It is a catastrophic state of affairs when the conduct of the politicians of football has detracted from the beautiful game. World football is in desperate need of individuals such as Gill, Figo, Prince Ali, and Platini to take the reigns of the organisation and guide it to a culture of fairness, transparency and ethical practice. It is imperative for the sake of the sport and the principles the governing body transfer to impressionable youths that these changes are brought about in a timely manner. Cultural change of an organisation is a monumental task, but with the departure of Sepp Blatter I believe the process can now get underway.
There are clearly a lot of teams who would love to be involved and the competition would be much better if it consistently saw teams playing their strongest lineups, going full-out to win, rather than the current situation, which sees clubs regularly fielding B-teams with little regard for the result of the match.
With the quality players they have Chelsea had a good chance of beating United in a straight fight, but the players went out on the pitch prepped not to lose, rather than to try and win - the fact that they did get the three points was more a happy coincidence than anything else.
Arsenal are like that talented kid at school - the one who who has so much to offer, but is a little scared of the spotlight. He prefers to just fade into the background and while he might be a little proud of what he's done, he doesn't like the attention on him. Nor the pressure.
The root of the problem is attitude. Steven Gerrard told the Guardian that Chelsea's reaction was merely "normal". He said: "It's normal at that level. Players want to win so much, managers want to win so much, and they'll try every trick in the book." Is that not the most worrying aspect of all?
It seems to be that English sides are suffering from a lack of identity. The Premier League does not create, it imports. Until English sides start producing talent instead of hoovering it up, the poor European results will continue.
They certainly haven't lost the fight they showed in the first three months of the campaign, except for two of what can only be described as humiliating results against West Brom in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace. So, what's gone wrong?
The end is nigh for Manuel Pellegrini. But for the current Manchester City boss, if the men above are to pull the proverbial trigger on his Etihad reign this summer, he'll have only himself to blame.
The players are exhibiting a freedom and style to their play which had been alarmingly truant during the ill-fated spell of Gerardo Martino. Much to City's angst and trepidation, Barcelona have rediscovered that way of winning which makes racking off five or six goals on an afternoon's work curiously insouciant.
Manchester United have been far easier on the eyes this season, but they currently sit on 37 points after 21 games, exactly the same as this time last season when David Moyes was in charge. Just let that sink in for a moment.
Barca are the bookies' favourites for the tie by some margin, but they may have it wrong. City have had their slump, this is the resurgence. Is it time for them to finally explode onto the European stage? Don't bet against it.
This season Roberto Martinez's team have found it hard to replicate the kind of form that took them to the brink of breaking into the notoriously exclusive top four for just the second time. Despite an indifferent start, however, the Toffees have improved of late and the tightness of the league table so far means that a similar challenge could be on the cards in 2014/15.
It is fair to say with Xavi's decline Modric is now ahead of him in the pecking order, and he, Kroos, Cesc Fàbregas and Andrea Pirlo are now arguably the best technical central midfielders on the planet at present, and some might even say that Modric is, or could soon be, leading the pack.
Liverpool haven't been handed the easiest return with a group featuring last season's champions Real Madrid, Swiss Super League winners FC Basel and new boys Ludogorets. It's a group they can realistically get out of though and will hope the fear factor of their historic European standing will unnerve the latter of those two, especially for home matches.