WITH Manchester City looking most likely to lift the Premier League title come May, is there any real chance that neighbours Manchester United can claw their way back in to the title race?
City extended their lead to 11 points after their 2-1 derby win on Sunday to heap more misery on Jose Mourinho’s side.
But with just three games to go until the half way point of the season, will the Blue’s continue their impressive form.
Pep Guardiola’s team extended their record run to 15 consecutive top-flight wins with another goal-fest victory last night. They saw off struggling Swansea City with a 4-0 away win at the Liberty stadium.
W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W
15 matches. 15 wins. 1 new #PL record.
THREAD ? pic.twitter.com/QqYnpnK8GN
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 13, 2017
Goals from Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and two goals from the in-form David Silva kept City 11-points clear.
After their defeat on Sunday, United were back to winning ways last night with a tight 1-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth. Romelu Lukaku was back on the scoresheet to grab the only goal of the game.
As City continue to stride away over the other 19 clubs in the league with United being closest in 2nd place, Mourinho spoke in his post-match interview that, “the title race is only over in May”.
There are just three games to go until the half way point of the season, where the leader’s City will face Tottenham Hotspurs, AFC Bournemouth and a trip to Newcastle United over Christmas.
An important three points, @RomeluLukaku9's winning goal and another clean sheet.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 13, 2017
However, United travel to West Bromwich Albion this Sunday, Leicester City before Christmas and then host high-fliers Burnley at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
With plenty of fixtures to come over the festive period, the gap between City and United could change with tough games to come for both sides.
But here at Quays, we have had a look back through the archives of the Premier League and how some of the title races have gone to the wire and how some clubs have been crowned champions by record breaking points margins.
Top five Premier League title comebacks
Manchester United – 1996/97
In May, United ended up lifting the Premier League title with a 7 point gap over second place Newcastle United.
However, Newcastle had a 12 point gap over United which Sir Alex Ferguson’s side clawed their way back in to the title race and finally taking top spot where Newcastle slumped to two defeats in their penultimate games.
Of course, this was the season when the then manager of Newcastle, Kevin Keegan famously spoke out in an interview
“And I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it.” – Kevin Keegan
But for all of Keegan’s hopes, it wasn’t to be as United clinched the title once more.
Arsenal – 1997/98
As Arsene Wenger was appointed as the Gunner’s boss the season before, his second season would turn out to be one to remember for the Arsenal faithful.
They overhauled an 11-point gap over Manchester United and also lifted the FA Cup in May clinching the league and cup double.
And just after the appointment of Wenger the season before, the London Evening standard published an interesting headline on Arsenal’s new manager.
Wenger also put himself in to the record books as becoming the first manager from overseas to lift the Premier League.
Manchester United 2002/03
As the title seemed to be heading to Arsenal that season, United managed to go on an 18 game unbeaten run from the Boxing Day that season.
They managed to overcome an 8-point gap over the reigning champions Arsenal.
United finished in 3rd place the season before so Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t going to allow that to happen again.
Many United fans will recall the time Alan Hansen expressed to the BBC on a live interview that you can never put your faith in youth.
But that would of course make Hansen blush with embarrassment years later, as Sir Alex’s trust in his young players really did pay off for United.
Since Hansen went on to make that comment in 1995, United would of course claim 29 major honours under Ferguson, with most of his youth side influential in each title win.
Manchester City – 2011/12
The title race would come down to the final day, resulting in it becoming the ‘Greatest Premier League season’ yet.
United had a 7-point gap over their fierce rivals but suffered defeats to Wigan and City themselves leading the title to the final day of the season.
But the final day would indeed live up to expectations. United secured a 1-0 victory at Sunderland and were almost over the line until the very last kick of the game at the Etihad Stadium from Sergio Aguero’s right boot gave City a 3-2 win over QPR and handing City their first ever league title. Que Martin Tyler…
Manchester City 2013/14
This would be the year that Liverpool thought that they would finally receive the Premier League crown after not lifting a league title since 1990 and being top of the league in April.
With Liverpool leading the way at the top, the famous quotes caught from then Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard stating that “no slips can be made”, as he rallied his team ahead of the final push.
But the actual slip that was made by Gerrard himself allowed Demba Ba to score for Chelsea in front of a distressed Kop stand.
The title would be decided on the final day of the season. And City secured a 2-0 victory over West Ham to clinch their second premier league title.
We also wanted to look at the biggest Premier League title-winning margins throughout the Premier League years.
Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany expressed his thoughts on how the group of players stuck together throughout the season.
Kompany spoke to Sky Sports whilst parading the trophy saying, “I’m extremely happy. Whenever we do well I am so happy for the players, for the club and for the staff.”
He was questioned by Sky Sports presenter on what it is like to lift the famous Premier League trophy and Kompany could not reiterate the feeling and pride it brings to all players.
“Forget the money, forget everything. As a kid you grow up and all you dream of is winning games and lifting trophies. That’s all I dream of, nothing else”. – Vincent Kompany
Could it be another year where a club strides away from the other 19 sides in the league? And with Manchester City’s current record breaking form, who would doubt them to be the next team to be runaway champions this season.
But what history has taught us is that is not always the case. Manchester United under Sir Alex would never go down without a fight, and perhaps that is something what Jose Mourinho needs to put in to this current crop of United players.
Our Sports desk here at Quays have also created a poll asking whether United fans can see their side catching up to City in the title race or if the points margin is too greater for United to make up. The results so far from the Poll are below:
— Salford Now (@SalfordNow) December 14, 2017
The next round of fixtures for both sides come thick and fast over the festive period as Manchester City will face a tough test at home to Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester United will travel to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion.
To view the busy fixture list over Christmas, please click here.