CITY CLOSE TO SUMMIT
Manchester United finally sit at the top of the premier league after a 7 year absence. The Red Devils were last top of the league in 2013 when they last won the title. Since then, Man Utd fans and supporters alike have had to get used to a new way of life. However, this past weekend’s result would have been pleasing as they sit in the driving seat after 18 games having won 11 of those matches.
Still, the premier league is full of surprises and Manchester United being top of the league with a mediocre squad certainly epitomises this. The current league leaders travelled away to Anfield to face current defending champions and long time rivals Liverpool. Liverpool needed a victory to go level and points with United and thus set out attack from the first minute. The home-side had a notable change with their defensive line up with club captain Henderson asked to put in a shift in centre-half (he actually did better than expected).
The game itself could have been a lot more entertaining but with Solksjaer opting for him team to sit back and try and hit Liverpool on the counter meant Liverpool would have greater claim to the ball and dominate the game, of which they did. Liverpool for all their endeavour could not break United’s stern defence. Pogba had a late opportunity to snatch all 3 points for Man United after being put through on goal but his effort was saved by Alison. United will see this as a point earned whilst Liverpool may feel they have dropped points as this goalless draw now pushes the Red to 4th in the table whilst their rivals sit pretty at the summit.
Have Manchester United finally found their mojo and is Solksjaer the man to lead them to their first championship post the Fergie era? I guess we will just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, on the other side of Manchester, the Citizens have quietly crept back up the table unnoticed. Pep’s boys have started to produce the results and consistency their supporters demand and this has been reflected in their recent performances.
Manchester City hosted Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Sunday and simply blew them out of the water. City were just too good and everything they did went accordingly. John Stones, who is now back in favour in centre back (for now at least), opened the scoring for City in the 26th minute with a good header. Gundogan added a second for City from 20 yards in the 56th minute before Stones added his second goal of the match in the 68th minute. Raheem Sterling completed the rout with a brilliantly taken freekick from the edge of the box in the 88th minute. In fairness to Palace they were without their talisman Zaha, although I’m not sure he would have made much difference in the inevitable result. Manchester City are now 2nd in the league with a game in hand (it’s looking very interesting indeed!!!)