Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Stoke City in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday night allowed the Red Devils to close the gap on their bitter locals rivals Manchester City.
Goals from Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku wrapped up the three points for Jose Mourinho’s men as they managed to capitalise on City’s slip-up at the weekend.
Manchester United are now 12 points behind their bitter local rivals. Do they have any hope of catching Pep Guardiola’s pace-setters?
Manchester City lost their first game of the season in the Premier League when they were beaten 4-3 in a thrilling game at Anfield on Sunday.
It should have, in truth, been a much more comfortable affair, with Liverpool FC having led 4-1 until the closing stages, when two quick-fire goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva set up a tense finale.
So, is the title Race about to become as unpredictable and exciting as the world of crytpocurrency?
Indeed, many betting sites now offer bitcoin as a currency option – is this because the digital currency world is a lot more exciting than the Premier League title race right now?
A quick look at the odds would suggest not. Paddy Power have Manchester City as the 1/50 favourites to win the title. Manchester United are priced at odds of 40/1 and Chelsea at 80/1.
Regardless, the simple fact of the matter is that the title is pretty much in the bag for Manchester City.
Yes, they slipped up at the weekend but the Anfield factor can overpower any great team. And that’s before remembering that the Citizens came agonisingly close to fighting back an earning a point, but Sergio Aguero’s header rustled the side-netting.
Let’s not forget that Manchester City have been breaking records left, right and centre this season. Their incredible form in the first half of the campaign has given them margin for error.
It’s a shame for the Premier League for the title race to be over so early in the season, but let’s not beat around the bush.
Manchester United could have been far more consistent in recent weeks – three successive draws in the festive period represents six dropped points.
Had they won those game, Mourinho’s men would only be six points behind, and the Citizens would be casting a nervous glance over their shoulder. As it stands, the gap is 12 points.
While we would love nothing more than to see Manchester United close the gap further to their local rivals in the coming weeks, and reignite the title race, it is difficult to see it happening.
Guardiola’s men have shown themselves to be one of the most potent attacking forces in Premier League history, and just because they lost a game (for the first time this season, in January!), they’re not about to suffer a meltdown.
One thing is for sure, however. Should City indeed lift the trophy in May, it will certainly set the stage for an enthralling summer transfer window.
Manchester United have spent big in recent years – but they will have to spend bigger this year, and Mourinho is known for preferring to get his business done early, and in the summer rather than January.
So as the Premier League title race heads towards its inevitable conclusion, we can certainly be sure of a captivating contest in the top flight next season at least.
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