Well that wasn`t scripted was it?
It wasn`t supposed to happen like that was it?
United were supposed to waltz into the Etihad Stadium and deliver a knockout blow to Manchester City`s title hopes, instead we failed to do ourselves justice and we slunk away into the dark Manchester sky knowing our dreams of a 20th top flight title hanging by a thread and relying on City to slip up either at Newcastle or at home to Queens Park Rangers.
Level on points, after last night, we acknowledge that if we win our last two games, against Swansea and Sunderland and City, as we expect, win their two then the title will be settled on goal difference and unless we can score a hatful in both our games, then bragging rights will belong to the blue half of the City.
So where did it go wrong last night?
Certainly, for a game awaited for by millions, it will never go down in the history books as a classic, with both goalkeepers hardly being worked, although to be fair to City, David de Gea was the busier of the two with Joe Hart being a virtual spectator.
Did Sir Alex make a crucial mistake by changing his system and bringing in Ji-Sung Park to stifle City and leaving Wayne Rooney to forage up front on his own? I`d say yes, because Rooney looked rattled, there was nobody to play-off and his game quickly deteriorated into a tit-for-tat with Kompany and Lescott.
Did we miss the presence of Jonny Evans alongside Rio Ferdinand? Once again I`d say yes because it as form a central area that City, on the stroke of half-time scored with Chris Smalling losing his man only for the Belgian international to head powerfully past De Gea.
Should Antonio Valencia have been utilized from the start? Once again I`d go for yes. Nani offered very little and in recent weeks the artistry of Valencia has been responsible for picking up several vital points.
So where do we go from here? Are there questions to be answered relating to the inclusion of both Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs from the start? On that one I`m not so sure, I`ve almost run out of answers as I look back on what was a very disappointing night for United, a night whereby the didn`t get an effort on target and looked, to be brutally honest, shot.
Finally, are Manchester City worthy champions? Well as the great Brian Clough once said – “the table never leis.” So unless City slip up at Newcastle and we win both our remaining fixtures I`m going to have to take a deep breath and say – yes!
I bet you never thought you`d see me admit that did you fifthcolumnblue!
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