Last chance to come back? The author of a sweeping return to Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions League (2-1), Manchester United, still outstrips the Premier League, likes to dream about the results in the unbeatable Citi Sundai and why he can not capture one day his neighbor.
A race against the clock has started. At the moment of approaching twelve days, Jose Mourinho and his club are already nine lanes behind Pep Guardiola and his band. In case of defeat, "Red Devils" will have twelve points less … and will be in the new season behind "Citizen", as is the case of Sir Alec Ferguson's departure in 2013.
The defending champions, who finished the season with 100 points, 19 more than their neighbors, are really on the same bases, supported by Sterling, the integrated Mahre and the excellent Laporte-Kamenje central-defense partnership.
In fact, they are even better! Their average goals in the league (3 per game) are even better (2.79 last year). For defense, only four goals were granted in eleven days, on average divided by two in relation to last season.
The outstanding runners in the league who seem not ready to slow down after the last two yards: the collapse of Southampton last weekend (6-1) and the matching of Shahter Donetsk on Sunday (6-0).
-United "grows" –
"There is a quality of work, an organization, I think it is impregnable," even admitted Mourinho on Friday.
No wonder ManU does not give priority to predictions, especially since Old Trafford residents kept their clean sheet only once in the last ten games.
But "Red Devils" remain in three successes, against Everton (2-1), the surprising Bournenouth (2-1) and the big Turin (2-1). In addition, except for Martial in a brilliant form and referred to Didier Deschamps on Thursday, they were not impressed. In order to point out the truth, Pogba and his team-mates just came out in their hair, at the last moments against Cherry and Bianconeri.
"If we continue to accept goals first, there comes a day when we will not be able to return," said the Portuguese technician. "That's why we need to be sure that it grows not only in our approach, because I think it's clear that the team is growing, but we also need to increase the strength and the way we start the matches. I say, he came against Juventus."
-The problem is uncertain-
If they developed the game, probably a bit more attractive in the last few weeks, investing corridors after winning Martial and Sanchez in full rotation, the difference in levels remains huge with "citizens."
On Sunday, if Mourinho should record the return of the Lukaku peak, it may have to be without Pogba, absent from training on Friday and uncertain at Etihad Stadium.
"We played two difficult matches against two very good teams, Chelsea (2-2) and Juventus, and we got good results," Mou said. "And if the results were not always in our favor, the performances were there, the positive attitude was there, and we will try."
"There is no doubt about it, it has improved," admitted Guardiola. "I see a team with a lot of dedication, aggressive without a ball, everyone runs in front and everyone goes behind the ball, the team has good and bad times and currently have confidence."
Will it be enough to cross "citizens" one day?