Chelsea coach Avram Grant congratulated Sir Alex Ferguson on winning his 10th Premier League title and then revealed that captain John Terry has a chance of being fit for the Champions League final.
The Blues' title hopes were dashed by United's 2-0 win at Wigan and an injury-time equaliser from Matt Taylor as Bolton snatched a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Substitute Andriy Shevchenko had given Chelsea hope with a 62nd-minute strike but the loss of Terry after 10 minutes with a dislocated elbow now threatens to torpedo their Champions League chances against United in Moscow next week.
Yet Grant was both generous in his praise of Ferguson and confident that Terry could win his fitness battle.
'First I want to congratulate Manchester United,' said Grant. 'They had a great season and I have sent a message to Alex Ferguson congratulating him. He is a great manager and a great person. I like him personally. I wished him all the best.
'It is amazing what he has done. I remember at the start when he had problems so it is an amazing achievement.
'John did not break his elbow. But we need to wait and see. We will know if he is fit for the final in a few days.
'I don't want to see the day when John Terry is not confident of being fit. It is good news that he didn't break his elbow. He is strong enough to recover but we will wait and see.
'In 10 days we play the final so we will take a decision nearer the time. We need to see that he is fit to play.
'It is firstly the decision of the medical department to see if he can play or not but there is no need to rush, we have time.'
Terry, who returned from hospital to join his team-mates on the pitch at the end of the game, believes he will be fit enough to play after four or five days of rest.
But Grant was also concerned about the fitness of Didier Drogba. The striker got a kick on his left knee 10 minutes from time against Bolton and the Chelsea boss admitted he was struggling.
'He could not come off because we had used all our substitutes,' said Grant.
'He did everything to finish the game. It does not look so good but we need wait again.'
All eyes are now focused on their showdown with United in Moscow and Grant believes his side have enough power left in the tank for last onslaught.
'Getting to the final was our target,' said Grant. 'When you get there you want to win it. We want to win it. We wanted to win the league also but it was never, for one minute, in our hands.
'The players gave everything but when they heard it was 2-0 to United, the last 10 minutes was for the protocol and then we conceded a goal.
'But in the last months we have developed our football and the last game of the season in Moscow is one we want to win.
'We need to be very proud of what we have done this year. We didn't start the league good and then all the big players got injured, then it was the African Cup but I am very proud of what we did in January and February without our big players. But it is not easy to chase teams all the time.'
The club's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, missing from Stamford Bridge in recent matches, also paid the team a dressing-room visit after the game and Grant admitted: 'We are always happy to see him.
'He congratulated everybody for what they have done this season. We have finished the league and now we are waiting for a game we have dreamed about. We don't want to go the final to be part of it, we want to win it.'
Bolton boss Gary Megson revealed there is money for him to spend on strengthening his squad in the summer.
Wanderers were staring relegation in the face when Megson was appointed. He may have been an unpopular choice among the fans but he has kept the club in the top flight and now wants to make them even stronger next season.
'I've been here 28 games and I've never once complained about them throwing the towel in,' said Megson.
'We have got problems that need sorting out but I am delighted we can sort them out as a Premier League club.
'Going down and coming straight back up is a real task and I am really pleased we don't have to do it at Bolton.
'We had a period at the start of the season when we collected five points from 10 games and another period, when I was manager, where we collected one point from 10 games.
'You would expect two runs in one season like that would get you relegated. But in the remaining 18 games we've been excellent in terms of results.
'We have got some great assets at the club which we need to maintain and add to. We have got the summer to work on that. I expect to have a busy summer, not just in player acquisitions, but in terms of using what has happened to us this season to move the club forward and make sure it doesn't happen again.
'There will be money to spend. We know that not everything in the garden is rosy.'