Two nil down to City, most teams would have bitten the dust and collapse, but Spurs showed an undying belief to fight back. This isn’t the Spurs team of years ago; this is Redknapp’s team, full of hard running and energy. They were unlucky to lose to a spot kick in the 94th minute, especially conceding it to a player who should have been sent off. They will feel hard done by, but their performance showed they can mix it with the big boys. Eight points behind isn’t a mountain to climb, given the nature of the Premier league this season and with a bit of luck on their side, Spurs’ can overcome the Manchester clubs.
…while Arsenal were never in it.
And aren’t going to be in for a long time, it seems. Manchester United versus Arsenal always had a prestige to it, now it clear of the distinct gap between the two sides and Arsenal can no longer really be considered a force anymore. If this season was a one-off, you can cite a number of reasons, but the fact that we’ve seen this Arsenal team before over the last six seasons, suggests that despite Wenger’s constant comments that the team is progressing; they haven’t and aren’t going too either. A lack of quality players; an unorganised backline; no plan B and possibly no Champions League next season (they are five points behind Chelsea) expect them to fall a little further unless major changes are implemented.
City’s lack of depth is noticeable
For all the talk of Manchester City having a team filled with unquestionable depth, there is a clear indication that the Sky Blues are reliant on a handful of players. Vincent Kompany’s absence is especially noticeable with City’s defence looking less resolute without him and either Lescott or Savic living up to standards. The same goes for the frontline: City need Balotelli or Aguero to be firing at all times, with Dzeko blowing cold more often than hot. Finally, the lack of a midfield presence in Yaya Toure cannot be ignored. The Ivorian offers everything: hard running, a fierce combative nature, an eye for attacking flair and a defensive resoluteness. City were missing his presence against Spurs and they will be hoping he returns from Africa, ready to go.
United will be fighting to the end.
Much like last season, there was a distinct lack of world-class quality in the United team. Apart from Wayne Rooney, United don’t have the players of yesteryear, instead focusing on young players and a few experienced individuals to lead them. Last season, they won the title not because of the quality of the side, but rather because they wanted it more. They fought tooth and nail; never giving up, believing they could win in any situation. And just like last season, they are doing it again. Sir Alex has moulded the squad with a winning mentality, doing what it takes to win. They dominated the first half against Arsenal and after the Gunners drew level, you thought the momentum had swung, but United, true to their fashion, fought harder and took the lead. 2-1, 3 points and still in the race. Expect them to fight to the end.