No matter how you look at it, this one for Manchester United is in the bag. For the umpteenth time this season and for almost forever in their life time, the Red Devils benefited from from the middle man’s decisions. Not that there is anything wrong with that, or that there is something they do outside football to benefit.
Teams make up their own luck and for those decisions to be given, United take the ball to the crucial areas at the right time. While other teams may feel under the same circumstances, they needed the benefit of the doubt from the referees, United are the chosen ones.
As they are largely the recipients of the all necessary mercies of the whistle, the biggest victims had been Tottenham Hotspur, who may have been title contenders to date. Queens Park Rangers may play in a different league for being unlucky and for having played United yesterday.
The most exciting layer for me in the league for the past three seasons has been Ashley Young. Young was clearly offside yesterday. He was off balance when that minimum contact was made. The referee was convinced the player was pushed off the ball and the penalty, dispatched by Wayne Rooney, was awarded and the offender sent off.
All comments and opinions on United are academic to the Red Devils faithfuls. To the rest, the question of the quality of United as a team, Sir Alex Ferguson as a manager and Wayne Rooney as a top striker come into play.
As any athlete aided by wind, United are unstoppably cruising. For their quality, arch-rivals, Manchester City did not do themselves any favours by losing to a determined Arsenal who played their match of the season. City should know the United luck well enough to have dug deeper.
At the moment of truth, they buckled and warped. As in any flat platform without a hierarchy, the expensively assembled team of over payed players became pre-occupied in restoring the order without paying much attention to the slipping title.
As of now, it is gone. Gone with the wind. Until another team stumble on the luck of United, the English Premier League will be predictably boring.
For now, the battle for third is far more interesting than what many think is the best league in the world. Or is it?