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Premiership Title Chase Has Completely Changed

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Manchester United’s mini slump has flung the door wide open on the Barclays Premier League title race again, so it will be interesting to see how the next two-and-a-half months plays out. Instead of having real daylight between themselves and trailing pack, the Reds have lost three of their last five Premier League games – all away from Old Trafford – and that has seen their decent four point lead evaporate into thin air, which has invited Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea back in the chase.

The main reason for the highly-frustrating media blackout, is so Sir Alex Ferguson can get his team to refocus and find their ruthless form again, which will certainly be needed in the last nine title-deciding games.

A lot of people think that this is a two-horse title race, but that is certainly a thing of the past, because when Chelsea plays their match-in-hand against Birmingham City, they should be only six points back of United. That is a far cry from the potential 18 points the Blues would have been back if United did not face adverse officiating and did their business at Stamford Bridge last week.

Instead, the Reds not only faltered there, but then against Liverpool just days later, which has given any one of those three clubs a realistic chance for the 2010/11 title.

To be completely honest though, there is not a club deserves this season’s title, because, when each one of them have be presented any of their numerous opportunities, they all failed to show that they really want it.

However, the biggest culprit has to be United. Even though the Reds were not playing well at all, but they were still gifted a chance to overtake the pole position before Christmas, but instead of running away with the title like they have in the past, United has, carelessly, kept tripping over themselves up.

In the build up to the Wigan Athletic match, Sir Alex warned his players that the next three away games would be a test, not season-defining moments, and they failed pretty horribly. Even though they won 4-0 at the DW Stadium, that game could have ended very differently as well, and three points out of possible nine is not good enough – especially at this stage of the season from an experienced United team.


As noted, United has nine games left, and five of them are at Old Trafford, and without looking at their schedule, most would think that they will take all 15 points. However, United when played Bolton, Fulham, Everton, Chelsea and Blackpool at their ground, only once did the Reds come away with three points, which will be weighing heavily on the Gaffer’s mind.

Three draws against the first three mentioned, and then the recent setback against Chelsea means that United has only taken six out of possible 15 from these reverse fixtures. From the corresponding away matches, the Reds managed to score 11 goals, but they conceded the same amount, which will not bode well for their confidence.

In their last four matches away from Old Trafford, United travels to West Ham United, Newcastle United, Arsenal and Blackburn, and they beat each of them convincingly at home. The Reds totaled 14 goals against them while only giving up two, but that was aided tremendously by the 7-1 win over Rovers in November.

A lot of pundits have circled May 1 on their calendars for a title-deciding match between the Reds and the Gunners, but United needs to make sure that they are still within touching distance of the title by then. It will not be easy, because the Reds have already tasted defeat at West Ham – in a stomach-turning 4-0 defeat in the Carling Cup – but hopefully that loss has not stuck in their mind.


One team that is not getting a mention is City, but they are only seven points back of United having played the same amount of games. City has a huge match that will dictate whether they have the credentials and desire to be win this season’s title against Chelsea. What has, and could, play into City’s favor is their ability to fly under the radar in the last couple of weeks.

However, City has a significant inferior goal difference of the top four teams that are now competing for the championship, and that could very well come into play this season. There is no questioning that Manchester United has their work cut for themselves if they are to finally break the jinx that is the 19th English top flight title.

Submitted by The United Religion

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