x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Man United away results will decide title destination

While Manchester United are in pole position to win another Premier League title, they are entering a vital stage of the season that could derail their challenge.

While Manchester United are in pole position to win another Premier League title, they are entering a vital stage of the season that could derail their challenge.

With United having dropped just two points at home all season, it seems clear that the title will be decided by their away games.

Last week, Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager, highlighted an eight-day period including three away games as the crucial point in his side's season. As the Scot pointed out, United's away record has let them down this season: they have won just four of 13 and have thrown away several leads, most notably holding a 3-1 lead entering injury time at Everton, only to draw 3-3.

"It's difficult to explain," said Ferguson. "You could analyse one or two of the games, but it doesn't matter at this stage of the season because they are all going to be massive games."

United won the first of their three away games - 4-0 victory at Wigan Athletic on Saturday. Now they face stiffer tests - Chelsea tonight and Liverpool on Sunday. United have not won at Chelsea for nine years and could well drop points.

However, United's record at Liverpool is good, having won five of their last eight against their rivals.

All this points to United's trip to Arsenal on May 1 as the key fixture. With a much easier remaining schedule, the Gunners should be close enough to turn that game into a title decider.

 

twoods@thenational.ae