Feb 10, 2013, 8:10 AM EST
Everyone’s measuring tape may stretch a little differently when considering how far Manchester United needs to extend its lead over Manchester City to cinch off, wrap up and put a pretty bow around the Barclays English Premier League championship.
Most of us looked at last weeks’ results – United’s win at Fulham married with City’s draw at home to Liverpool – as the moment of truth.
If it was not, can we all pretty please agree that it’s coming today? It is with a successful day at Old Trafford, that is.
City’s loss to Southampton on Saturday set the stage. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men start the morning nine points clear of the only viable pursuer close enough to talk about. With all three points today against U.S. international Tim Howard and Everton, United will build a 12-point deficit that would need a historic collapse for undoing.
Yes, United was eight points clear last year with six matches remaining.
Still, consider the psychological impact of today’s contest at Old Trafford.
This is where it all began to unravel for Manchester United a little less than a year ago. It was in April (so, a bit later in the season) when Everton and United played to a sensational 4-4 draw.
This week, Ferguson warned such a thing will not happen again. What he told United Review:
If I had to pick out one single match where we lost our title it would have to be that game. What I can say is that it won’t happen again – or if it does, then put it this way, they will feel the full effect of the hairdryer.”
Yes. Egad! The fabled Ferguson hair dryer.
Today’s match kicks off at 10:30 a.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel.
There’s also a schedule ahead to consider, one that sets up more favorably for United. And with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie leading the way, goals a just a’ flyin’ in for United; Opta Sports tells us Ferguson’s men have scored two or more in 15 of their last 16 at Old Trafford.
Feb 1, 2015, 12:53 PM EST
A stunner from Jonjo Shelvey saw Swansea surprisingly through after a lackluster first hour.
Feb 1, 2015, 12:08 PM EST
Arsene Wenger felt the scoreline may not have reflected the true nature of the game, and that the second goal was the key one in breaking down the visitors to the Emirates earlier today.
Feb 1, 2015, 11:22 AM EST
A pair of first-half goals saw Celtic through to the Scottish League Cup final over rivals Rangers.
Feb 1, 2015, 10:39 AM EST
Southampton can jump right back into the top three with a win against a struggling Swansea side at home.
Feb 1, 2015, 10:21 AM EST
Olivier Giroud opened things up inside 10 minutes and it was a sign of things to come as Aston Villa slumped to 612 minutes without a league goal.
Feb 1, 2015, 9:03 AM EST
His ACL tear in the past, now a fresh injury concern has shelved the Dutch midfielder.
Feb 1, 2015, 7:44 AM EST
Mesut Ozil starts in the middle in place of injured Alexis Sanchez as Aston Villa comes to the Emirates.
Jan 31, 2015, 11:20 PM EST
Diego Costa has again claimed his own innocence. And you know what? I believe that he believes he’s done nothing wrong.
Jan 31, 2015, 10:43 PM EST
Big Sam was quick to take the credit away from Liverpool and place the blame for Saturday’s loss on his own injury “crisis.”
Jan 31, 2015, 9:24 PM EST
Van Gaal remembers what happened last time his side led Leicester, and he learns his lessons the first time.
Jan 31, 2015, 8:30 PM EST
All of the day’s confirmed, officially official transfer dealings from Saturday, Jan. 31.
Jan 31, 2015, 7:27 PM EST
The actual games took a backseat to shenanigans as two of four semifinals places were booked on Saturday.
Jan 31, 2015, 5:45 PM EST
All of Saturday’s action from Spain and Italy.
Jan 31, 2015, 4:57 PM EST
Arsenal and Southampton hope to keep their assaults on the Top Four in order, while Aston Villa and Swansea City hope to snap skids.
Jan 31, 2015, 4:19 PM EST
And to think, we’ve still a pair of Sunday matches on the slate. Let’s go through what’s done and dusted.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:40 PM EST
There were eight games in the PL on a busy Saturday. Here’s how it all went down with recaps, analysis and much more.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:20 PM EST
Manchester City’s boss thought his charges were very good, but is disappointed to snare a solitary point against Chelsea.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:12 PM EST
Lampard was the last player on the pitch, saluting both groups of supporters.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:06 PM EST
What did we learn from the tense draw at Stamford Bridge? Here’s three things.
Jan 31, 2015, 2:47 PM EST
Giving Chelsea and City’s players a mark out of 10.
- Southampton 0-1 Swansea: Shelvey snatches win with sensational late strike 0
- Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa: Gunners torch hapless Villa with deadly counters 0
- Diego Costa maintains his innocence, says “I’ve not done anything wrong” 4
- DONE DEAL: Seydou Doumbia to Roma headlines quiet Saturday for transfers 0
- Premier League Sunday preview: Top-half teams jockey for position 0
- Premier League roundup: Big wins for Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and more 0