Despite Issues, Manchester United in Strong Position to Reclaim Premier League Title

Given how regularly Manchester United have challenged for and won the English Premier League title over the last two decades, it should surprise no one that they’re in position to do so again heading into the last few months of the season. With 14 matches remaining, United hold a seven-point lead at the top of the EPL table, after following Tuesday’s goalless draw between QPR and second-placed Manchester City with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday.

United were unable to close the deal last season after holding an eight-point lead over City with only six matches left, so it’s much too early to say that the title race is over. At this point, the only thing that seems to be a certainty is that United will continue to regularly feature in goals galore tips, tomorrow, and the rest of the season.

However, most don’t expect lightning to strike twice, even though United have often lived dangerously defensively this season. In 24 Premier League games, United have allowed 31 goals, two less than they allowed all of last season. That total would be higher if not for a few cases of good fortune, some poor finishing by the opposition in numerous situations, several cases of defensive heroics in the nick of time, and many superb saves by the much-maligned David de Gea, who’s done far, far more good than bad, even if the media have made it seem otherwise.

However, most don’t expect lightning to strike twice, even though United have often lived dangerously defensively this season. In 24 Premier League games, United have allowed 31 goals, two less than they allowed all of last season. That total would be higher if not for a few cases of good fortune, some poor finishing by the opposition in numerous situations, several cases of defensive heroics in the nick of time, and many superb saves by the much-maligned David de Gea, who’s done far, far more good than bad, even if the media have made it seem otherwise. They’ve actually tightened up defensively in the last couple of months, allowing multiple goals only once in their last eight league matches after doing so eight times in their first 16 games of the season. Still, even with Serbian stalwart Nemanja Vidic fit again, they’ve still found themselves in more than a few troublesome situations in that recent stretch.

For all of their bumbles and stumbles at the back, United have managed to stay afloat and then some due to their ability to find the back of the net with league-leading regularity. Spearheaded by the prolific form of superstar summer signing Robin van Persie, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side has scored 59 league goals already, which puts them on pace to top the 90-goal mark in a Premier League campaign for the first time since the 1999-2000 season, when they scored 97 goals. That total should be higher, given how many opportunities have been gone begging and how they’ve often enough stepped off of the gas when they’ve had a lead, but it‘s a highly impressive total nonetheless.

So, can United make the most of the strong position they’re currently in and take home a 13th Premier League title? Last season’s dud of a finish gives some pause, and so does the rollercoaster ride they’ve taken fans on this season. However, it’s hard not to be confident that they’ll be celebrating in May.