Manchester City Fans Learn to Be Careful What to Wish for with United's Tumbles

Phil KeidelContributor IIMarch 8, 2014

These guys never used to get this excited about beating West Brom.
These guys never used to get this excited about beating West Brom.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Some Manchester City fans have lived it for multiple generations. Some have only felt it for a decade. Still others are new to the phenomenon and yet totally immersed in it.

If you support City, you loathe Manchester United.

City famously won their first Premier League crown by pipping United on the final day of the 2011-12 season by goal difference by scoring twice in added time that eerily resembled "Fergie time."

Last season, normal service was restored and United won the Premier League going away as City fell into their traditional habit of being their own worst enemy.

The 2013-14 season began with City and United sharing favorite billing along with Chelsea. But really, who gave Chelsea much chance to topple either or both of the last two league champions? The Blues were reintroducing Jose Mourinho and still lacked a competent striker. What chance did they have?

Smash cut to your reading of this piece, and Chelsea are the class of the Premier League by plenty.

Which reminds City fans (and anyone, really) that one of the greatest axioms in life is to be careful what you wish for.

Scads of City fans have wished for years (decades) that United would receive a legitimate comeuppance. "Wait until they really struggle," City fans might have said of United, "because when that happens, we'll run away with the league."

That sentiment, it turns out, was half right.

Chelsea's braining of Spurs put them one more huge step toward the league crown.
Chelsea's braining of Spurs put them one more huge step toward the league crown.Clive Rose/Getty Images

United, in relative terms, are a disaster right now.

David Moyes' side dispatched West Bromwich Albion—West Brom!—3-0 at the Hawthorns, and the commentators tripped all over themselves talking of the relief and excitement that such a victory would provide to Moyes and the Red Devils.

Not long ago, a 3-0 win for United at the Hawthorns was, if anything, a disappointing result for United.

So City fans no longer need to fret about United taking the Premier League away again this season. United are nine points behind City, who have two games in hand on United. That race is over.

Like the hydra, though, the Premier League has proved this season that where one contender dies heinously, two and three more emerge.

City sit fourth in the table now, trailing not only Chelsea but also Arsenal and Liverpool.

Having lost both league matches with Chelsea, City must now win at both the Emirates and Anfield to have any realistic chance to win the Premier League.

Things were so much simpler when it was only United that City had to put in the rearview mirror.

Wishing for United to come unglued, as it turned out, was only half the job for City's league title hopes.