Sir Alex Ferguson’s horse What A Friend not winning Saturday’s Grand National meant the collective sigh of “phew” by the sports book providers was audible for all to hear. Sir Alex’s other sporting interest of the weekend, the Premier League title race, is starting to look as processional as any Royal Wedding ever has or will.
After being overlooked for the PFA Player of the Year Award, Nani added assist number 17 and 18 by laying on goals for Dimitar Berbatov and Luis Antonio Valencia. It meant a 2-0 win at home to Fulham and maintained United’s seven-point gap at the summit.
The league is far from over but the way United seem to be able to brush aside opponents is befitting of a championship side in waiting.
The main challengers to their crowning, Arsenal, kept within reach after a routine win away at relegation threatened Blackpool. Even Jens Lehmann got some action as goals from Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue and Robin van Persie handed Arsene Wenger’s side a key victory.
Then there’s Chelsea.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side may well have won Saturday’s clash with bottom side Wigan. The manner of any victory they pick up right now is so labored it makes the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man look spritely.Florent Malouda’s goal gave them the win as Spanish striker Fernando Torres’ run of not scoring continued unabated.
William Hill spokesperson Graham Sharpe can even see Torres not scoring and being sent out to pasture next season.
“He’s 11/2 not to score for the rest of the season, and even if he gets just one or two goals it is difficult to see how he can be regarded as a success unless those goals come in the Champions League final,” he said.
The other game concerning one of the top four takes place tonight as Man City visits Liverpool with the chance to reclaim third place from Chelsea. All that we can really take from the weekend is that United look nailed on for Fergie’s record breaking 19th title and it will take a mammoth effort from Arsenal to change that.