For a long time this season, it has felt it was a two-horse race for the Premier League. Arsenal and Manchester City.
It always felt Manchester United were not really in the title race. That they were far enough away to not be of a concern.
But since the World Cup, they have been the Premier League’s in-form team, closing that gap on Arsenal and Man City.
Manchester United have been playing catch up since they lost their opening two games of the season. But since there back to back defeats to Brighton and Brentford, they have gained 49 points from 22 games. No team has got more.
In that same time, Arsenal have 48 points from 21 games and Manchester City 46 from 22.
Their form has ensured that they have kept hold of the top twos coat tails. Keeping up with the title chasers even if they remained a few steps behind.
The Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint, and Manchester United have now positioned themselves to take advantage of any further slip ups from the top 2.
They are being driven forward by Marcus Rashford. Everything he touches right now turns to gold.
The returning Jadon Sancho is also going to have huge influence on the rest of the season.
After being left out for reasons unknown, he looks to be returning to the form that saw him become the best young player in the world at Borussia Dortmund. He is fresh having missed so many games and might be Manchester United’s not-so-secret weapon in the closing stages.
With the likes of David de Gea, Raphael Varane and Casimiro, they have some serial winners with the experience to get them over the line.
A bit like Arsenal, there improvement in form has come after their manager (Erik ten Hag) stood up to senior players who were having a negative impact on the team.
Mikel Arteta dumped Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, ten Hag dumped Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arsenal still have a gap – 5 points. But that can quickly evaporate.
In the last 4 games, they have closed the gap on Arsenal by 6 points. We have seen have seen teams come from further back previously to win the title. And there are still 14-15 games to go.
Manchester United have also already played both City and Arsenal twice. All 3 have a similar run in.
We think we now need to take Man U seriously as title contenders. Do you?
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