England

Manchester City clinch the title as old problems resurface for United

Manchester City were gifted their third Premier League title on Sunday afternoon, as their arch rivals fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to relegation strugglers West Brom.

The inevitable was made official yesterday as Manchester City won their third league title. They have been a level above the rest in the Premier League and are in no doubt deserving of their title.

City have shown a rare sign of weakness over recent weeks, which was typified when they failed to secure the title against their rivals Manchester United last week.

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Despite being in the ascendancy for all of the first half, they let their two goal lead slip to a rampant United outfit who reminded fans of the glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson in the second half.

Playing more rapid fire football, pushing men forward and focusing on attacking rather than their defensive setup is what brought United so much success over the years. This turnaround at the home of their rivals looked like they were returning to playing this style of football again.

But then came the game against West Brom, a side with just three league wins all season before yesterday. It looked like in the lead up that it will be a straight forward victory for United to follow on well from the boost in confidence from last week.

This was not the case though. All of the optimism from last week soon retracted as Man United put in one of their poorest displays of the season to hand City the title.

United lacked energy and did not look to move forward with any kind of urgency, as they took it for granted that they would be able to slice through the West Brom backline that has floundered all season.

But this backfired as in the 73rd minute, Jay Rodriquez headed home what would end up being the winner. All the credit should go to West Brom’s interim boss Darren Moore and his side. They were set up perfectly and they managed to restrict United to only minimal chances.

You cannot help but compare this side under Mourinho to those under Sir Alex Ferguson. Games such as this pitting United against a bottom half side would see Sir Alex’s men go for the jugular and whatever the scoreline ended up being, you would never see the team showing compassion and settling for a certain scoreline.

Under Mourinho however, his style has always been to focus on defensive security first and not conceding rather than going forward. This has always been the case even back to his first tenure at Chelsea, as it is very rare you see a end-to-end and high scoring game involving a Mourinho team.

This is why the decision to bring Mourinho to United has been put to question. There was never any doubt that Mourinho would improve Man United compared to the tenures of David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal in terms of results alone.

But the fans have always demanded more than just wins, how they go about it is as important, due to the demand to play the so-called United way.

Next season is a vital one for Jose Mourinho, as the United fans and hierarchy will not tolerate a Manchester City domination again. Strengthening is needed for United over the summer but as we all witnessed last week, they are capable of brushing aside teams when their players are given freedom to show off their attacking prowess.

Feature Image Credit: Aleksandr Osipov

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