All United have to do on Sunday is go to Stamford Bridge and win. The slightly easier task, on paper anyway, is that of Manchester City who face Southampton at The Etihad. Anything less than three points each for the two Manchester teams will be seen as an opportunity wasted.

Chelsea are certainly not the team they were under Mourinho and are eminently beatable. The problem for United, at present, is that they are also not the team that Chelsea were under Mourinho. Of the two, however, there is no reason why United should not win this one.

A lot will depend on the team sent out by José Mourinho and whether or not he chooses to be cautious. He can gamble on the win which would mean gaining two points on both Arsenal and Tottenham or he can make sure that nothing changes by accepting a draw. The latter would be seen, as previously mentioned, as an opportunity missed.

City will go for the win. Guardiola doesn’t play any other way and certainly not at home. Of the two City should find it easier to return to winning ways than United will to continue their recent good results.

They find themselves in this situation thanks to Arsenal and Tottenham sharing an inability to beat teams they are expected to beat. Why these two are always expected to beat certain teams when, in fact, they rarely do, is a little beyond me. It is a similar way of thinking to the England fans who regularly expect the team to do well when the complete opposite is the usual result.

Tottenham would have been expected to beat a resurgent Bournemouth at Dean Court, or whatever it’s now called! They failed to do so and, in fact, could have lost the game had Bournemouth been a little more deadly with their finishing.

It was a similar story at The Emirates, where Middlesbrough should have scored on at least two occasions, which would have resulted in an even better weekend for Manchester. Arsenal did put their usual amount of pressure on the visitors during the last ten minutes but to no avail.

The referee did add the standard five minutes on at the end even though there should only have been two! This is a regular occurrence when Arsenal are drawing or losing. Strangely enough, when they are winning there is never much time added on! Despite this time-added-on-in-order-for-Arsenal-to-score-a-winner, they didn’t and the result was a draw which was a fair reflection of the game.

Everton travelled the short distance to Burnley expecting to win and would, had they done so, have moved up the table. They didn’t win and, therefore, didn’t move up the table. This was an unexpected result and proved the following statement to be untrue and that is that Everton always beat Burnley.

The late game saw Liverpool take on West Bromwich Albion knowing that a win, of 2-0 or better, would lift them to the top of the table even if only for a short time.

They duly obliged with the win but 2-1 was not the required result to go top outright, just level with Arsenal. They are beginning to find a level of consistency which the other top teams are struggling to achieve, with the exception of Arsenal, who had the consistency but now appear to be slipping back, as expected, into their old habits.

So it’s over to Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho to try and take advantage of the lacklustre Londoners. City will go back to the top if they can beat Southampton and United will close the gap on both Spurs and Arsenal with a win.

It has been a little while now since both Manchester clubs won on the same weekend. Tomorrow would be a perfect day to start the ball rolling in that direction again.


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