Remember all that stuff you've read from Internet blogs, (including here) and heard on podcasts about how United had to do something about their defence before they come up against someone they can't outscore? Well that 'someone' as far as the domestic league is concerned was supposed to be Manchester City, not least because of that game that we do not talk about.
It has come to pass though that United's deadly attack can outscore City as well. Our screaming neighbours are the latest opponents this season to be on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline. This time though, there will be no apportioning of the blame as both of City's goals were as a result of the overwhelming quality in and around the penalty area. I mean if you are David De Gea, and you've made two brilliant stops, you'd hope that lady luck makes Toure shoot wide or that it fell to someone that would balloon it to the stands. For Zabaleta's goal, only once is ten attempts can such a shot go through a mile of bodies untouched and still find the only unguarded corner of the net.
Credit to Sir Alex for going for it at City this time. You now wonder what might have been had we gone for it against them in that decider at the Etihad last season. Perhaps it is a pointer to Sir Alex that even against the best of the lot, we are better off playing to our strength rather than trying to frustrate the opposition.
I thought Ashley Young finally came into his own on the day. He was as helpful as possible to the attackers and was incredibly unlucky to have his goal ruled out for offside. Evra's usual forward bursts ensured that the left wing, as well as the right wing were a menace to City who would rather have the ball in the middle of the park.
Sir Alex did troll the media though by ruling out Valencia. If Mancini took his word for it, I doubt he had prepared enough to curb the Eucuadorian's threat. My only criticism of TonyV is that he is making it a habit to stop and second guess the defender instead of sticking to the basics of whipping that ball in at every opportunity. It would serve him well to know that Beckham hardly tried to beat his marker before putting in a cross. He simply bent it in at every opening he got.
Finally Robin van Persie. Here is a player who is at the peak of his powers and can do no wrong at the moment. Increasingly, it appears that his signing was the tipping point of the 'balance of power' in Manchester again. It's not because of his 92nd minute winning free-kick yesterday but that he has stepped up to fire United past each of their title rivals this season. Wayne Rooney does have his fair bit of influence in big games, but Robin has consistently done it against the big boys for us this season by scoring in wins at Anfield, Stamford Bridge against Arsenal and now at the Etihad. That the last time we won at all three hostile venues was in 1913-14 season is telling of the impact that the Dutchman has had at United. Long may it continue.
A six point lead at the top of the EPL in December is something not even the most optimistic United fans had envisaged at full time at Goodison Park on that Monday night. We've fought our way to the best possible position to win our trophy back and now its up to the players to show that same heart and desire against the lesser teams in the league regardless of our records against them. Last season we fell into the trap of going to Wigan with an 8 point lead and a mindset of a default victory. Hopefully this time we kick on and try to give ourselves the best possible chance to win the league come May next year.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!