As of today, Manchester City are by far and away one of the best teams in Europe, let alone England. Comparisons with the invincibles are proving accurate as 21 games into the season; the Sky Blues are still unbeaten having won 19 of their fixtures. Only conceding 12 goals and scoring 61 in the process has converted City into an unbeatable machine that the other teams are struggling to keep up with, that includes Manchester United.
Despite only spending £50million less than Manchester City over 2 seasons, the Red Devils find themselves 15 points behind City. Yes, FIFTEEN. We’re more than halfway through the season, and anything but a City triumph is looking inconceivable. But this is football, and it’s never truly over until it’s over. So, if José Mourinho could apply these changes while praying for a miracle, there’s no reason as to why Manchester United can’t close the gap on Manchester City.
Here are 3 ways United could close the gap on Manchester City.
Convert draws into wins
Since the start of the season, Manchester City have incredibly won 19 games and only drawn 2. On the other hand, Manchester United have already drawn 4 and lost 3. Of course, nobody expects United to match City’s winning & unbeaten streak, but four draws are unacceptable and already equates to 8 points off the pace. Poor draws against Burnley, Leicester and Stoke City are what’s separating Manchester United from being serious title contenders. Because in all honesty, right now they’re not competing for the title, they’re competing for second place.
More decisive when needed
José Mourinho’s men may have the second best goal difference in the league, but when they’ve needed to score goals, they simply haven’t. The difference between Manchester City and Manchester United is that the Sky Blues decide games with goals while United waste time scoring excess goals in games they’ve already won.
Earlier in the season, a 4-1 against Newcastle, a 4-0 against Crystal Palace and a 4-0 against Everton looked nice on the CV, but in reality, they were just papering over the cracks. That’s why the Red Devils have such an inflated goal difference, because of meaningless thrashings at the start, not now, when it counts.
Rotate strikers up front
Romelu Lukaku may have cost Manchester United £75million, but his returns haven’t matched that price. In 20 league games, Romelu Lukaku has scored 10 league goals, but none of those goals have come in high-pressure situations. Many of them have come in meaningless games where he’s scored a brace after the game’s been decided.
It’s not good enough, so it’s a wonder as to why the Portuguese manager didn’t use the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the CF position when the Belgian was on a scoreless streak. The two youngsters are clinical in front of goal and Mourinho’s insistence on starting Lukaku has widened the gap between him and Pep Guardiola. And truly if push comes to shove, Zlatan Ibrahimović is always there lurking in the shadows.