Feb 3, 2013, 1:40 PM EDT
Feel free to wonder if today was the day Manchester United looked at the Premier League table, considered the yawning gap that has opened up between itself and the one remaining EPL pursuer, took a deep breath and began to indulge a smidge of dreaming about how it will feel to have that title back at Old Trafford.
Nine points. That’s the United edge over Manchester City with 13 matches to go.
And we are way, way past talking about any other challengers.
Only a truly implausible collapse from Sir Alex Ferguson’s men – hardly an outfit known for such crash landings, never mind last year’s little hiccup – will keep United from wrestling the title claiming by their noisy neighbors from City nine months ago.
That’s the big picture from today’s 2-2 draw at the Etihad, where Manchester City actually needed a late Sergio Aguero goal not to fall further behind. Liverpool seemed OK with the draw; City seemed to understand the moment.
Combined with City’s disappointing 0-0 tie earlier this week at Queens Park Rangers, Roberto Mancini’s team is four points further adrift than a week ago, and the prospects of defending last year’s hard-won title look bleak indeed.
Mancini, for one, is remaining steadfast. What he said after Sunday’s setback:
Is the title race over? No. Seven or nine points, don’t change [the outlook]. I think we can recover it.”
Perhaps that Italian math works differently. Nonetheless … Yes, City was eight points behind United with six games remaining last year. So these deficits can be overcome.
And perhaps having the Mario Balotelli anchor removed from their collective ankle will inspire something more from Mancini’s men.
But given a schedule that looks favorable to United, is anybody willing to bet on it?
- Premier League Playback: Fifth place finish for Man United? Superstar Shaw, Arsenal’s big chance 0
- Bayern Munich star Toni Kroos fails to rule out Manchester United move 3
- Manchester United set to bid $50 million for Southampton’s star duo 0
- In MLS, West is best… at least for a weekend 1
- Netherlands and Roma on alert after Kevin Strootman carted off against Napoli 0
- Quick Six: Chelsea’s second halves, Fulham helps Cardiff, and the rest of the headlines from this weekend’s Premier League action 0
- Yanks in Mexico: Torres Scores in Tigres Win, Garza Gives Solid Display
- Julio Cesar Put his Semester in Toronto at Risk
- Getafe Fire Luis Garcia, Hire Cosmin Contra as New Manager
- Former Sounders Teammates Rosales and Hurtado Faced off in LA
- The Clock is Ticking for Tim Sherwood at Spurs
- The FIFA World Cup Trophy for the First Time in Sarajevo
- Despite Early Deficit, Revs Could've Climbed Back vs. Dynamo
- Red Bulls' Opening Act Has A Nightmare Finish
- MLS 2014: Dream Team of Week 1
- Jens Lehmann Downplays Guardiola's Bayern Munich