Last night’s horror show from Manchester City at Eastlands filled the sports news pages with what might have been this morning. Instead of the news that Carlos Tevez was staying loyal to the city of Manchester for a while longer yet, it was the fact that City had failed to reach the summit of the league, which would have seen them looking good for a first Premier League title.
Unfortunately, Tim Cahill did what he does in front of the North Stand at the City of Manchester Stadium – score headers whilst unmarked. Last night was no different, and after about 20 minutes, City had almost sunk without a trace. No amount of snoods could be an excuse for what was again an abhorrent performance.
They had the shots on goals, which lasted for almost the entire second half and half of the first period, but in the end, they only managed a deflected Yaya Toure effort.
After the game William Hill spokesperson Graham Sharpe commented: “City look destined to flatter to deceive this season,” quoting them at 9/1 to finish top of the league come May
This all meant that Man Utd, with three games in hand on their cross-city neighbours, end up being in the enviable position atop the league at the festive period.
United remain unbeaten with Sir Alex Ferguson entering his 320th season as boss and you feel that this might be the most proud of all those titles. By the time everyone had finishing telling them they’d likely finish as low as third, they were back where they belong. With Wayne Rooney still yet to fully recover his form, United could end up winning it at a canter.
A point behind them in second place is Arsenal who look to all intents and purposes the same team we encountered a year ago, with a slightly worse defensive-line. Cesc Fabregas is still weaving his magic in midfield but coming up short is what Arsenal do!
Chelsea are the other of the top four sides and, like the other three have had their period of “turmoil” this season, but with Frank Lampard returning from injury it’s likely that themselves and United will be the top two come the end of the season. The West Londoners may be languishing in fourth right now, but the extended rest they’re currently experiencing will help them more than it will help any of the other challengers.
After last night’s games, the other three challengers were priced by Hills as follows: Man U 5/4, Chelsea 2/1, and Arsenal 9/2. As we mentioned earlier City are at 9/1.