Last night Manchester City defeated arch-rivals Manchester 2-1 at Old Trafford.
The visitors put in an outstanding display and at times were in control of the game.
City looked more like the team that claimed the league title last season in last night’s clash.
City fans would have to be in denial to believe that they still have a chance of retaining their Premier League crown. City won the battle; Manchester United will win the war come what May.
Both teams still have seven games remaining and United are ahead by 12 points. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side threw away an eight-point lead last season. However, it is hard to see them throwing away an even more commanding lead than last seasons.
I am sure that the victory will give City fans some comfort this summer. Their team had periods of controlled possession in the game and looked confident on the ball, whereas Manchester United just seemed far too casual.
Manchester United knew that they could lose the game against City and still win the Premier League title. The Red Devils just did not turn up on their home patch and City took advantage.
Manchester City has disappointed their fans this season with poor performances at times. It looks as though their arch-rivals will win the league with a healthy margin, despite last night’s defeat.
Had City played all season like last night then the Citizens would be far closer to their city rivals. The Manchester City from last night looked like a team that could win the Premier League title.
They showed energy, determination and at times flair. They found the energy from somewhere to produce a good performance. I am sure City fans are wondering why their team could not produce this sort of performance on a consistent basis this season.
City boss Roberto Mancini recently claimed that the gap in points between the two teams in the league is deceiving. I do believe that he is right. I do not think that the difference between the two teams is that vast.
However, United have managed to produce key wins, at key times early on in the season and City have not been able to. The difference between winning a title and not can be the width of a post or a cross bar.
The margin really is that fine at times and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has just been able to get slightly more out of his players, than Robert Mancini has this season.
Another big factor in Manchester United winning the title has obviously been the goals of Robin Van Persie. The Dutchman has now gone ten games without a goal, but his contribution earlier in the season was enough to win United crucial points.
Van Persie has scored 19 goals this season in the Premier League; a lot of them were winning goals. He has also contributed to creating goals, which in recent weeks has become more crucial with his lack of goals.
City’s top scorer in the Premier League is Edin Dzeko on 12 goals. The Bosnian is not even a first choice striker, having come off the bench the same number of times as he has started.
He is often considered more of a super sub and is being heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer.
City’s joint second top goal scorers in the top flight are Argentine pair Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez, who have both found the target just ten times this season in the Premier League. Therefore, City’s first choice strikers between them have just one goal more than the Dutchman that tells a story in itself.
With Manchester United seemingly set to claim thePremier League crown this season, everybody connected with Manchester City will turn attention to the summer and activity in the transfer market.
There is lots of speculation that Roberto Mancini may lose his job this summer. If the Italian does stay then what happens in the transfer market this summer will dictate whether City can win the Premier League title or not.
Whatever happens from now until the start of next season I am sure that Manchester City will challenge their neighbours for the Premier League crown next season. No amount of ASBO’s will get rid of the noisy neighbours; they look like they are here to stay.
What does Manchester City need to put in a strong title challenge next season?