Performances Against England's Elite Clubs Will Win the Title for United

Simon Edmonds@@Eddie_EdmondsCorrespondent INovember 4, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Robin van Persie of Manchester United is challenged by Lukas Podolski of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 3, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Yesterday, many fans were witness to the kind of world class outing that most of the footballing world has come to expect from Manchester United over the past 20 years.

Although the scoreline may not have suggested it, United were at no point in any sort of genuine danger of not picking up all three points against long-time bitter rivals Arsenal.

Led on brilliantly by the Gunner's former star striker, Robin van Persie, United managed to easily brush aside one of the teams who many believe will be challenging for the Premier League crown come the end of May.

This result came just a week after the Red Devils once again walked away with all three points against a team from London—that time picking up the victory away to the then-league leaders Chelsea in a drama-ridden game that ended 3-2 to the Manchurian visitors.

These are the kind of results that decide exactly who is sitting on top of the Premier League table at the end of every season. In recent years, United have made a habit of getting the crucial results against the big teams when it mattered most.

It would appear that this time around the same sort of dominance is thus far being exhibited by the tablecloth army.

The aforementioned wins against London's best, as well as a fantastic (albeit somewhat lucky) victory away at fierce rivals Liverpool have meant that so far Manchester United have taken nine points from nine against the teams that were once labelled "the big four."

However, this isn't 2008 anymore. The hierarchy within English football has taken a drastic step in a somewhat shocking direction over the past half a decade, with teams like Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and, perhaps most importantly of all, Manchester City starting to assert their claim for regular top-four finishes every year.

With this is mind, results against these clubs will also be major contributing factors in where the Premier League trophy will end up come the 2013-14 campaign.

United have played Newcastle and Spurs already this season to mixed effect. In truth, both games were some of the best football that the United front line exhibited all season, making their opponents look like conference players at times.

However, the major contrast came in regards to the defensive outings over the two games. Against Newcastle, the Red Devils' back four remained solid throughout (even contributing to the scoring at the other end) to ensure a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Magpies.

Against Spurs, this was a completely different story, with the United defence seemingly thinking they were playing against a group of 40-year-old men, as opposed to one of the quickest teams in world football. Far too much space was allowed to the likes of Lennon and Bale who were able to break away from the United back-line with ease on a far too regular basis in the first half of the match.

Admittedly, the second period saw some of the best attacking football to date from Fergie's men, but even then it wasn't enough to drag the men from Manchester back into it, eventually going down to a shocking 3-2 home defeat.

This notable blip aside, however, things have been going swimmingly for United in these top of the table clashes. 

But one noticeable name is absent from the list of teams that United have faced off against so far this year.

Last season, Manchester City pipped United to the title and in the process did the double over the red half of Manchester (including humiliating them 6-1 at their very own Old Trafford).

United and City meet each other for the first time on December 9th in a fixture that will no doubt have a huge bearing on the eventual outcome of the Premier League. In truth, anything other than a loss for United will probably be seen as a decent result—especially considering their performances against the English Champions last season. 

If the Red Devils can go to the Etihad and come away with at least a point then their record against the top sides in England over the first half of the season will put them in a position of utter dominance come 2013.

The last two weeks have shown all the doubters of Manchester United exactly why you should never count them out when it comes to winning titles. If this rich vein of form that has been exhibited since the defeat to Spurs goes on, then we could be looking at a 20th English title for the country's most successful side.

Follow me on Twitter: @Eddie_Edmonds


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