If ever there was any doubt that Manchester City were going to clinch the Premier League title this season, they were certainly put to rest over the weekend.
As Pep Guardiola’s side blitz past Leicester City with a 5-1 thrashing, Manchester United’s ineptitude was showcased once again when they slumped to a 1-0 victory at St. James’ Park, practically casting their title hopes- if any- dead in the water.
City are now on fine course to be awarded their second Premier League crown since neighbors United last won their own, which begs the question as to whether Jose Mourinho’s charges are any better than they were last season.
Fifth Premier League defeat
United missed a ludicrous numbers of chances on goal despite the fact that Newcastle fielded a debutant, Martin Dubravka, between the sticks.
Beginning the day a single point above the drop zone was cause for concern more so against a well groomed, free scoring side, but the fact that Jose Mourinho had never won a single Premier League match at St. James’ Park was something to take into the game.
And take they did, as the hosts outran, outmuscled and outwitted the Red Devils, with Matt Ritchie grabbing the only game of the encounter in the 65th minute; one that would send the Newcastle supporters into a frenzy at the final whistle.
The defeat was Manchester United’s fifth of the season, equaling their league tally for the whole of last season. Progress? I think not!
Not winning the title
Whether be it in Porto, Inter Milan or Real Madrid, it has been mentioned on time without number that Jose Mourinho always wins the league in his second season.
Well, the Manchester United job is unlike any other, which is why failing to deliver the Premier League crown shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
The real surprise unequivocally lies in the fact that Jose is 16 points adrift of the leaders, with the possibility of the gap potentially stretching before the close of the season.
Back in the top four cat fight
With the title gone, United have made it even harder, as they now find themselves entwined in the scramble for a top four finish.
Albeit still second on the log, they are a dismal two points ahead of Liverpool and four against fourth-placed Tottenham.
Manchester United have improved most aspects of their game from the last campaign, but their feeble defensive mentality and lack of clinical finishing has, by all accounts, cost them the title.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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