If Manchester United are in the grip of an injury crisis, they are not showing it. The Red Devils were rampant in a masterful 5-0 thrashing of West Bromich Albion on Tuesday and moved two points clear of Liverpool who failed to destroy Wigan. Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo were utterly irresistible in front of goal.
At the start of the season, Manchester United’s fortunes were draped in a dark fog as they dropped points carelessly and their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo, seems half-hearted in repeating last season’s glory. Speculation abounds that he prefers the white jerseys of Real Madrid after achieving all possible honors in England and his August public statement of “staying at United for the time being” left the door open for future suitors.
However, the fog cleared after Manchester United picked up the Club World Cup last month. The players returned from Japan in ominous form. Their back line was not breached in the Premier League since that defeat at the Emirates, 11 games ago. Slowly but surely, Manchester United’s Quadruple dreams is taking shape and to the consternation of their rivals, this era of absolute dominance may continue for years.
I believe the immediate and realistic goal for Manchester United is to win a third consecutive Premier League title. It is an ultimate test of consistency to finish top after 38 games and they are now in a strong position to do so.
There is an added prestige to maintaining domestic superiority for Manchester United. Winning an 11th crown in 17 seasons would bring them level with Liverpool’s record 18 league titles, and rub shoulders with the all-conquering Anfield sides of the ’70s and ’80s. Fergie’s babes would be well and truly be legends.
The implosion of their closest rivals has also made the work easier for Alex Ferguson. Liverpool ended their short reign at the top of the Premier League on an unhappy note. Successive draws against Stoke, Everton and Wigan compounded Benitez’s misery and sent Liverpool sliding to to third in the Premier League table.
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