Former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke insists there is “no way” Manchester City’s dominant Premier League triumph is a fair reflection of the difference between the teams.
City finished with a record-breaking 100 points in 2017-18, their 19-point gap to second-place United the biggest there has been between champions and runners-up in the Premier League era.
Although the Red Devils fell well short in attempting to catch their neighbours, they did end the campaign on 81 points, one more than their tally from the historic treble-winning season of 1998-99.
And Yorke, who was a key part of that success, believes United’s results against their biggest rivals have proved they are a force again under Jose Mourinho.
“There is no way Manchester City are 19 points better than this United team. This is a very good side that Jose Mourinho has assembled,” he told The Sun.
“The proof has been there with victories over Tottenham at Wembley, the comeback against City in the derby and home wins over both Chelsea and Liverpool.
“The away win at Arsenal was a cracker, too. You cannot tell me those were not top performances.
Let’s make it in on Saturday! pic.twitter.com/GB00rrNKn3
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 17, 2018
“But you can never take your opponent for granted and I think the manager has seen performance levels drop based on the opposition at times this season.
“There is no lack of ability in this team. You look at [Romelu] Lukaku, [Marcus] Rashford, [Alexis] Sanchez, [Jesse] Lingard, [Paul] Pogba, [Juan] Mata, these are all great players. They just need to get that mentality right for every game.
“United have gone from sixth to second and are now in a third major final in two seasons. Mourinho has got the club going in the right direction again. Wembley will provide another example of that.”
United end their season in Saturday’s FA Cup final showdown with Chelsea at Wembley.
Yorke does not believe the trophy has become any less significant for players in recent years and has backed his old club to beat Antonio Conte’s side.
“I played at Wembley for Aston Villa in the 1996 League Cup final, beating Leeds 3-0,” Yorke recalled. “That was special but to be part of the 1999 FA Cup final on the way to the treble with United was something else.
“It will still be special on Saturday and I fully expect United to win. I’m not being biased – I just believe they are the better side.
“Chelsea have had a really poor season and seem to be ending it with something of a whimper. Of course they’ll lift themselves for this – but so will United. They just need to do that for every game next season.
“I think the fact they haven’t always been able to do that has been the major cause of frustration for the manager this season.”
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