Despite the opening day defeat to Everton, Manchester United are now odds-on favourites to claim a 20th Premier League title this season.
Utd came back from 2-0 behind to claim an important 3-2 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday and with Man City and Chelsea experiencing problems of their own, United look well equipped to take the title back from their neighbours Manchester City.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men weren’t particularly impressive against Aston Villa but their character and resilience was evident. Two goals from Andreas Weimann looked set to halt United’s impressive recent form but super-sub Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez came off the bench to rescue United with two goals and was slightly unfortunate not to claim a hat-trick when his shot deflected off Villa defender Ron Vlaar and into the net. The game just proved how much quality United have within their squad when they have match-winners on the bench. Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney have been in terrific form of late but neither could breach Villa’s defence until Hernandez came on half-time.
The most worrying thing for United rivals is that they haven’t yet reached top-form this season and their wins against Chelsea and Liverpool away this season had a slice of luck involved. With Van Persie, Welbeck, Hernandez, Valencia and Rooney, United have the best attacking options in the Premier League and even when not playing at their fluent best, they will always make chances and score goals.
Manchester City also had to fight back at the weekend to win at home to Tottenham 2-1 with goals from Sergio Aguero and City’s own super-sub Edin Dzeko to move the champions into second place in the Premier Table, two points behind local rivals Manchester United. However, City still don’t look half the team as last season when the won the league ahead of Manchester United on goal-difference. Last Season, Man City’s home record was the difference in the end where they won 18 of their 19 games at home and their performances at the Etihad were extremely resounding. However, this season teams such as Swansea, Southampton and Tottenham could and maybe should have gotten at least a point in the blue-half of Manchester.
Just like Manchester United, City’s defence has let them down significantly and especially in Europe where they look almost certain to miss out of the Champions League group-stages for a second season running.
Looking on the positive side for the champions, they remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League this season and the exit from the Champions League means they can sorely concentrate on winning back-to-back Premier League titles but they need to improve and fast, especially when they visit Stamford Bridge to meet Chelsea in two weeks time.
Chelsea looked set to keep up the pace with Manchester United at the top of the Premier League until Liverpool striker Luis Suarez popped up with a header to give Liverpool a point at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The dropped points for the Blues could prove costly after dominating a lifeless Liverpool side from the first minute until Liverpool scored in the 73rd minute. Both Manchester clubs responded at the weekend to get priceless victories and Chelsea needed to react like Champions do when Suarez scored for Liverpool but Chelsea surprisingly went backwards.
Liverpool looked the better team when the equalised and had chances to win the match in the dying minutes when Jose Enrique’s shot was saved by Petr Cech at his near-post. In the end, it was Liverpool who could feel aggrieved to not come away with the three points and Chelsea, who lost captain John Terry in the first half to a serious looking knee injury, looking less and less like title contenders. If Chelsea want to challenge for the title then six points is essential in their next two encounters where they travel to in-form West Brom on Saturday and then play Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Leon Blanche, PR spokesperson at Boylesports, said: “As Chelsea stutter, the Manchester clubs are finding their strides. The stat that Man Utd always win the Premier League title when top after 10 games provoked support for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men both before and after Saturday’s match. They are even stronger favourites now to land a 13th Premier League title.”
Manchester United have been cut to even-money favourites by Boylesports (from 11/10) to land the Premier League title this season after yet another late goal saw them grab three points at Aston Villa on Saturday. Manchester City (9/4 from 2/1) also grabbed a late winner and have moved ahead of third-placed Chelsea in the table. Roberto di Matteo’s men are now 7/2 from 100/30 with Boylesports to end up as champions after a third league game without a win.