For Manchester United to finish in the top four of the Premier League a few things have to happen.
Firstly, they have to stop drawing games, particularly at Old Trafford. This means they need to score from more of the opportunities they are creating.
Recently, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata have been guilty of missing golden chancea to win games that have ended in a draw. This needs to change. Probably bringing in another striker is what is required but that temptation was resisted in January and may yet cost United a top four finish.
Also, they are now in a position where they need help from other teams. To an extent, Chelsea beating Arsenal was a good result. It is unlikely that United are going to win the Premier League and catching Chelsea is not the main priority. Watford beating Arsenal was certainly a helping hand in United’s top four goal.
Hull have also registered an “assist” by beating Liverpool and enabling United to move within two points if they can beat Leicester City. That, unfortunately, is the big question with this Manchester United team. Can they beat Leicester?
They couldn’t beat Hull City at Old Trafford. They couldn’t beat Burnley, also at Old Trafford so maybe the fact that this game is away from home is a slight advantage. If, however, they can’t find a solution to the lack of goals then it is unlikely to be an advantage from which they can profit.
Manchester City seem to have found some form so the chances of their finishing in the top four are also very good.
With Tottenham Hotspur wobbling ever so slightly, drawing against Sunderland and narrowly beating Middlesbrough, Liverpool showing signs of inconsistency and Arsenal entering their annual meltdown period, the time is now right for United, (and City), to take advantage.
The top four will only be decided in the last few games of the season. It already looks as though Chelsea will win the title, but the race for second, third and fourth will go on for a while yet.
If Manchester United fail to reach that fourth position they will only have themselves to blame. They have been playing games after Arsenal and Liverpool recently, and have known exactly what they needed to do. They have been given, if it were needed, added incentive by knowing that their rivals have lost the day before they play and STILL they couldn’t beat Hull City!
Again today, they know that their rivals have lost on the previous day and they MUST beat Leicester to gain ground on both Liverpool and Arsenal.
The way things are at present, Tottenham Hotspur would be favourites to finish second but United and City can surely displace Arsenal and Liverpool, thereby taking third and fourth at worst.
Let’s hope so anyway.