Can Manchester United mount a title charge?
After Manchester United swept aside Newcastle United on Friday, several people have now begun to talk up their chances of making a serious title charge.
New Delhi: After Manchester United swept aside Newcastle United on Friday, several people have now begun to talk up their chances of making a serious title charge.
The Red Devils have been in sublime form off late picking up 22 points from a possible 24, which has helped them consolidated their number three position in the league behind Chelsea and Manchester City.
With no engagements in Europe, Louis van Gaal's side are now in prime position to capitalize if the top two clubs were to slip up.
United legend Paul Scholes certainly believes his former club can take football pundits by surprise in the second half of the season.
“If United win their next two games, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do what Liverpool did last year – go on a great run, a big run, and put pressure on the top two.
"Then, once you get to the Champions League, United will have the free weeks and hopefully they can take advantage,” said Scholes.
The midfield maestro had a special mention for United skipper Wayne Rooney, saying “Wayne was top class. I still think he is a top centre-forward, but he is capable of playing that midfield role when he drops back into it.
“It is an art to run from midfield into scoring positions. But you still have to finish them – and Wayne did. I thought he was brilliant all day.”
Rooney, who scored two goals in his team's win over the Magpies on Friday, too feels the Old Trafford club is certainly not out of the title race.
“There’s still a long way to go, we know that. We’ve chased leads down before and we’ve lost leads ourselves before, and by a big number of points, so anything can still happen, especially in the next week or two.
"If we can come out of these games with the right results then we’ll be in a good position, ” said Rooney.
Currently, United are 10 and 7 points off Chelsea and Manchester City respectively at the end of Gameweek 18.
However, the fortunes of Van Gaal's team will de determined on the next two games against Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City – both very tough away games.
Though, it appears as a two-horse race at the moment, a strong run will help United maintain pressure on the top two teams and sneak in through the back door if there is an eventual meltdown in form of either team.