Manchester City won again at the weekend – downing Leicester 2-0 – to secure a six-point cushion at the top of the Premier League, and once again narrow the odds on Pep Guardiola clinching his first Premier League title when May swings around.
But I don’t think it’s over yet.
For all Man City’s brilliance and attacking verve, another team firmly put their hands up on Saturday, and that was Manchester United.
After a few weeks where Jose Mourinho has drawn criticism for his negativity, he will have been delighted to see Paul Pogba return and produce a fantastic performance as United swept Newcastle aside, scoring four goals in the process.
Don’t forget, this was how United started the season – and it was only a blip with Pogba out injured that saw City nudge ahead of their rivals.
But now, it’s back on.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 19, 2017
It would be foolish of me not to suggest that City are in the boxseat, but the fact is that their six-point buffer is not significant enough to be decisive.
I look up and down the league table and I can spot at least two sides who I believe are capable of defeating Guardiola’s team, and that’s with all their key men in the side.
Both Tottenham and Chelsea have got the defence required to cause City’s attackers some grief, and although Antonio Conte’s outfit did lose their game at home to City, they’ll be very keen to atone for that loss in the return fixture.
As far as Spurs go, they beat City last year, and although Guardiola has strengthened, it would not be a surprise to see Pochettino’s men overcome the Citizens when they visit the Etihad on December 16.
And in a league where most teams can give most teams a game, it just seems foolish to suggest – as Martin Keown – has done, that City will remain unbeaten.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 19, 2017
They might, but the odds would be against them doing so. And if they do encounter a blip, I’d be betting on United to take advantage.
With Pogba in the side, United are an entirely different proposition, and if they can keep their talisman fit, and get Romelu Lukaku back into some semblance of form, they are a match for anyone.
Another factor to consider is Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese will know that for his United regime to be viewed as a success, he must win the Premier League, and if he doesn’t do it this season, there wouldn’t be many betting on another season for him at Old Trafford.
Don’t underestimate that determination, and don’t for a second think that this title race is over. It’s only just begun.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 18, 2017