Last weekend Manchester United fans endure the most difficult weekend of their lives after their team was humiliated 6-1 by their across road neighbors Manchester City at Old Trafford.
Perhaps this could be City and Roberto Mancini’s season to win the Premier League title. Not many teams beat United at Old Trafford.
United usually respond so quickly and strongly after a defeat, this makes them a hard team to beat. Even when they lose one man, the English champions is a team that covers up the gap very quickly.
On several occasions under such circumstances, Sir Alex Ferguson has always made quick replacements with change of formation and it worked well. Last Sunday, he stuck to the same plan after they lost Jonny Evans and it back-fired. None the less, even when United had eleven men on the pitch, City was always in control especially from the midfield. There is no doubt that Manchester City is the strongest team in England at the moment.
They signed very good players; the likes of K Sergio Aguerro, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri have made significant contributions. The trio has improved City in all departments and looks much stronger than last season.
Last season, City finished in 3rd place, won the FA Cup with qualification to this season’s Champion League as their highest achievements. Though they have faced a rough introduction to the elite competition, the Citizens look a better team in England.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are close City competitors but have not showed great potential this season. United have been hit by successive injuries to key players.
Absence of Tom Cleverly has affected the strength of their midfield and Ferguson has been forced to bring on Michael Carrick. Carrick has good passing skills and good ball distribution but lacks agility and invention.
Cleverly is young, strong and dynamic in the midfield, he can play very well with Anderson or Fletcher and cover up defense quickly.
United are currently facing problems in their defense as Rio Ferdinand, Namanja Vidic and Patrice Evra have failed to put up good performances.
United is known for a strong defense and attack, now only the attack seem to be in a good shape with Ashley Young, Rooney , Nani, Danny Wellbeck and Javier Hernandez provide the spark.
Teams with a good defense and attack are now capable of beating United.
Another title contenders that might pull a surprise package is Chelsea with their new Portuguese coach Villas Boas but seem to lack a winning strategy at the moment.
They had a chance to leap-frog United to second spot last weekend but lost to newly promoted Queens Park Rangers and had both Drogba and Bosingwa sent off.
At Chelsea, Villas Boas is struggling to form a strike partnership as Drogba has lost form. Torres has yet to regained his goal scoring form. Anelka wants out, while Kalou adds very little.
Arsenal is out of the race, especially after the departure of Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. A long term injury to Jack Wilshire means Arsenal lack strength and invention in the midfield to support the attacking line.