So they played badly and showed no real sign of quality, that won’t matter a jot to Alex Ferguson after today’s 3-2 home win over Aston Villa. In fact I daresay he’ll be pleased that his team were able to fight back to win the game after being 2-1 down. They say the sign of champions is being able to play badly and still win and United did that today. Time after time they were cut open by the Aston Villa counter attack and the absence of Vidic and Ferdinand was really felt when they let in both goals. Thankfully their showpony Ronaldo was able to score two goals from little and then an unknown substitute scored the winner. As the third went in the sounds of weeping were heard across the land from one half of Merseyside, who, 15 minutes earlier, were ready to start drinking in celebration of being 2 points clear at the top after their late heroics on Saturday. The top of the table looks much more different now though.

United are still one point clear and this result could become the vital result in this year’s title race. If the Red Devils had lost earlier today it would have been their 3rd in a row, something that they hadn’t succumbed to in years. They would have still had a game in hand but the initiative and momentum would have been with Liverpool after their great run of results and morale would have been low in the Mancunians camp. With a possible banana skin Champions League tie coming up on Tuesday their season may have been in ruins by 10pm on Tuesday night. Now however they’ll return to business with a swagger and confidence not seen for a while and with their remaining fixtures it’s hard to see them slipping up in any other game but Arsenal at home:

Sunderland (A)
Portsmouth (H)
Tottenham (H)
Middlesbrough (A)
Man City (H)
Wigan (A)
Arsenal (H)
Hull (A)

By the time of the Arsenal game the title could be theirs but apart from that I can’t see anything other than a load of ‘W’s.

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