Monday, 14 January 2013

UNITED KEEP CITY AT ARMS LENGTH

The worst possible ending to the weekend would have been ending up just four points ahead. The best possible ending would have been a double-digit lead at the top of the table. As fate would have it though, the EPL managed to sustain a title-race beyond Sunday as both City and United won their games in what Sky made us believe was Super Sunday.

The good news though is that we can only look after ourselves and a 9th win in the last 10 matches has ensured that we remain 7 points clear at the top of the table.

As far as the match proper is concerned, the manager said that we shall never again lose the title on goal difference and whereas we believe by that he means better defending and more goals, we've not really turned the screw on City in terms of goal difference to insulate us from the calamity of last season. We've won nearly 80% of our games by the odd goal. If its not 4-3, its 3-2 or 2-1 more often than not. Maybe Sir Alex meant that we would win enough games to rule out the issue of goal difference coming into the reckoning in May.
Yesterday, we had enough chances to kill off Liverpool within the first 45 and yet we only went in 1-0 ahead. That was sickening, especially as it was obvious that Dippers couldn't possible play any worse in the second half.

Thankfully though, their improved performance in the half only warranted the one goal and hence meant that the two we conjured up were in the end enough for us to do the double over them in the league for the first time in a while.

Robin van Persie continues to enjoy a stellar debut season at Old Trafford, but what about that build up for his first goal. It was a 14 pass move involving Clev, Welbz, Shinji and Evra. Brilliant engineering and easy on the eye to watch as RVP guided it past Reina. The Dutchman could have had a couple of back-heel beauties had it not been for ill-luck in both situations (I mean its ill-luck whenever Reina saves a goal-bound effort).

Ultimately though, we've managed to put another potentially slippery fixture out of the way as we get into that final stretch of games. No United side has ever conjured up 55 points after 22 games in the EPL so that should tell us that the lads are doing something right this season.

We've got another big one at Spurs next weekend and so I hope that the manager does not risk many of our vital players for the FA Cup replay on Wednesday. West Ham were difficult because they were home. I doubt the same can be said of them away. We've got enough quality in returning players to take care of that in Wayne, Nani, Anderson, and the likes of Jones. We need to remain up for the challenge in the league since City have a run of winnable games till February. A 7 point lead is not yet cause for taking our eye off the road yet, as we found out last season. Having said that, nobody imagined that we'd be in this position at the start of the season so we'll take it with both hands!

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

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