Manchester United are top of the Premier League table. Top. Of. The. Premier. League.
That hasn’t happened at all since August 2018 when it lasted for less than 24 hours and it hasn’t really happened properly since September 2017. It also hasn’t happened at this stage of a season, after Christmas, since United last won the title in 2012/13.
United made Turf Moor their ‘happy place’.
The Red Devils kicked off their game in hand in second place, behind Liverpool only on goal difference. It was a tight game that wasn’t a great example of refereeing, but United were in control for the most part and Paul Pogba scored the decisive goal with a second-half volley.
Pogba, who has once more been heavily linked with a move away as a result of comment made his controversial agent Mino Raiola last month, said he is happy because the team is winning – this was a ninth Premier League win in 11 games for United, during which they are also unbeaten.
Harry Maguire had what appeared to be a perfectly good goal disallowed when the score-line was still 0-0, harshly judged to have fouled his marker when he rose highest at the back post. In the end, the final result was all that matters and the United skipper also gave a fine defensive performance.
David de Gea, a sole survivor from United’s last title winner – because there is zero point including Phil Jones at this stage, clocked up an important clean sheet.
Eric Bailly has overcome his injury problems and is back starting regularly. This was another game when he made crucial blocks. His pace also makes Maguire a better defender because the skipper can attack balls in the air knowing he has cover behind him.
United fans everywhere are praying Bailly just stays fit because he’s only just reached 100 appearances for the club in four and a half years.
On another night, Luke Shaw might have been sent off, but…
All in all, it means United are top of the pile in the actual real Premier League table.
Given how United started the season, it is safe to say this surge has come as a shock.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken more than his fair share of criticism over the last 18 months.
The progress has been astounding since this stage last season and #OleOut was even trending after the game and the following morning as a kind of two-fingered salute to all those that have called for his head.
Gary Neville struggled to contain himself on commentary for Sky Sports and actually apologised afterwards. But the former United captain is clearly buzzing and exited the stadium humming ‘Gary Neville is a red, he hates scousers’ ahead of Sunday’s huge clash against Liverpool.
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