Super Sunday Fallout: A Two-Horse Race in the EPL

Felix TangCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2007

In the wake of Super Sunday, Arsenal and Manchester United look to be the teams to beat in the EPL.

United trumped Liverpool 1-0, with Carlos Tevez scoring the 43rd-minute winner.

The game was dominated by Liverpool, with United players having to clear off the line twice.  The unexpected  turnabout came when Ryan Giggs  played a short corner to Wayne Rooney, who fired a shot that Tevez redirected past Pepe Reina.

United sat back in the second half, with as many as 10 men defending against the streaming Liverpool attack. The Reds never capitalised on their chances, with only a midrange effort from substitute Ryan Babel worth mentioning.

Arsenal, meanwhile, managed to retain their hold on first place with a 1-0 win over Chelsea.

Both teams came up with positive chances early, notably Andrei Shevchenko's unlikely long-range strike that was blocked by Manuel Almunia. The goal came at the end of the first half, with skipper William Gallas sending a header past Petr Cech.

IconAfter Sunday's action, Arsenal sit atop the league with 40 points, while United are just behind with 39. Chelsea are stuck on 34, and Liverpool dropped to fifth with 30.

Although it may be too early to take Super Sunday as a title-decider, the outcome suggests that the remainder of this season will be a fierce two-horse race. With the halfway mark fast approaching, Chelsea and Liverpool have been too inconsistent away from home.

Whether Arsenal's extremely consistent form will continue is up to the club's key players. Without the experience of men like Gallas, Arsenal's young side will struggle.  When the African Cup of Nations comes in January, the Gunners will lose the likes of Toure and Eboue—and will need big performances from their replacements.

Manchester United will also rely on its key players. An injury to Ronaldo or Rooney would be a massive blow to the team, and Paul Scholes' absence has already left a gap in the midfield.

Consistency is the key, but Arsenal's strength will make it much more difficult to defend the crown.

The Christmas run should be a defining moment, as both teams look to keep up with the demanding schedule. Only time will tell what the New Year brings.