Manchester United vs. Manchester City: Loss to Wigan Intensifies Title Race
Hadn't we only last week written Manchester City off as genuine contenders for the Premier League title?
The eight-point rift that stood between Manchester United and cross-town, noisy-neighbors Manchester City seemed to hand United a historic 20th title.
The gap between United and City now stands at a mere five points with five games yet to be played. And, there's that crucial encounter between the two foes still to come.
A win for City would mean the gap would come down to two points only.
Given the extravagant and exorbitant amount of cash injected into City, coupled with the insecurity surrounding Roberto Mancini's job at City, Mancini might be able rise up against the criticism leveled at him by making a spectacular comeback and win the title.
Mancini is indeed a highly capable manager.
In addition, their squad has been bolstered by the re-introduction of Carlos Tevez, who got onto the score sheet today with a lone goal.
Manchester City do pose a serious threat.
Key players like David Silva and Samir Nasri both performed impressively today, and on their best days, are capable of wrecking havoc upon any opposition. City's defense is also operating as a rock-solid unit.
And then there's Sergio Äguero.
History has, indeed, served as a reminder that ,under these circumstances, top teams seem to succumb under such pressure and shed vital points.
Who Will Win the Title?
Manchester United, barring that one fixture with City, have yet to face Aston Villa, Everton, Swansea and Sunderland. Perhaps beside the game against Villa, all the other games cannot be easily predicted.
These teams represent resilient, mid-table teams capable of churning out any result against any opposition.
Manchester City on the other hand, amongst their list of fixtures, face two teams destined for relegation: Wolverhampton and Queens Park Rangers.
Whether the determination to win the title or the determination to survive for another year of top-flight football will win out, only Providence knows.
It's true that Sir Alex Ferguson has been in such places before. However, the entire City squad might have been injected with a hunger.
Having been title favorites for the entire season, and seeing the title slip away, only to have a glimmer of hope that assures City the title may still be salvaged is what drives them.
The title, assuredly, is within City's reach.
Should United be wary of City's threat? You bet they should.
Follow me on Twitter: @BrenGoetze
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