Manchester City: Why Defeat to Manchester United Will Win City the League
Often in the Premiership season, a result in a separate competition can have a substantial effect on the destination of the title.
Despite this, Manchester City still sit proudly atop the English Premiership.
However, the loss to rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup could prove important for the rest of the season.
City are still battling on three fronts—the EPL, the Europa League and the Carling Cup—but that could change this week after the second leg of the cup semi-final with Liverpool.
Maybe the best thing for City would be to drop out of the cup and focus purely on the league.
The Europa League—that convoluted and elongated monstrosity—will almost certainly be used by Roberto Mancini to give experience to younger players, meaning they can focus fully on the championship title race.
Sitting three points clear of United and eight ahead of a stumbling Tottenham side, City are in control.
It's theirs to lose.
The loss to United could be the wake-up call that will spark them to a run that will have them come away with the title.
The two don't meet again until the third-to-last game of the season—April 28—and there's a high chance the title could be decided by that fixture.
Mancini will be hoping, however, that it can be all but wrapped up before then.
Now that City can focus almost entirely on the league, thoughts must turn to their fixture list.
It will also be interesting to see what affect, if any, both sides' Europa League commitments have on their league form.
Elliot is also a contributor to a football podcast.