Last night was confirmation of a couple of things that have been lingering in the shuttered world of the Premier League’s top four. Chelsea is going down the pan quicker than another bad remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho and without anything approaching a blood-curdling scream.
Being knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester United is one thing. The manner it happened is quite another. Fernando Torres showed that his profligacy knows no bounds and that he may have been better taking up a job as the starring role in Madridista Lady Boys, the straight-to-DVD classic. His replacement at half time, Didier Drogba, scored Chelsea’s only goal but it wasn’t enough. Not by half.
None of this should detract from Sir Alex Ferguson showing that he is the better coach amongst all this. You can imagine that if the Glazer’s ever made the decision to buy a fading striker for £50million, the manager’s face would go a worrying shade of dark purple with rage – something Carlo Ancelotti can only emulate with a stern raising of the eyebrow. Emulation is a key theme of this United side though.
The chance to repeat the unprecedented treble of 1999 is still on after Javier Hernandez and Park Ji-Sung struck for the reds. You wouldn’t argue with anyone suggesting that Fergie finishes the season with three major trophies for a second time. The Premier League looks done and dusted, and Man City is all that stands in the way of United and an FA Cup victory at Wembley.
Even though it will be one of the Spanish giants if they reach a second Wembley final in a matter of weeks one off finals are just that. As was proved on their last two European Cup final victories, anything can happen.