Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sports: A BPL Tale of Two Manchesters

That Dickensian gem of duality, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" could hardly be more apt in describing the Premier League, title race,  And even moreso in the particular case of the two Manchester clubs.

United, which ruled the roost with near impunity over the last decade was deposed by their cross-town rivals City in 2014 (actually City's 2nd win in 3 years) after presumptive winners Liverpool faltered.

Now, its the Citizens who are looking up towards a trophy that is fading like a speeding sports car. In fact, if the present trend continues, City could face the triple whammy of losing the Premier League, title the "subsidiary cups" (FA, Capital One League Cup) and the Champions League in one miserable, job-threatening season. Manager Pellegrini insists, as we expect him to, that he has no worries over his future, but you never really know, do you?

On the other hand, Louis van Gaal seems to have finally found the combo to get his machine humming at Old Trafford, as his charges have strung together five straight wins, including vanquishing Liverpool and more recently cellar-contenders Aston Villa. the lie in 3rd eyeing a move to depose 2nd place Arsenal, who are equally in form.

Though City defender Vincent Kompany claims this is the ideal time fora Manchester derby, one doubts the City fans venturing into Old Trafford this Sunday will share his enthusiasm or confidence. Even withthe return of the vaunted YaYa Toure, the Citizens were humbled by a spirited and compact Crystal Palace team (and a few questionable calls, but what else is new?), and the morale must be at an all-time ebb for this group of stalwarts, a veritable united Nations of top talent, but a squad which is now looking tired, rather than tried and tested.

United fans meanwhile are relishing a return to the intimidating Red Devils of recent lore, even if marquee striker Robin van persie endures his own struggles and loan import Radamel Falcao has thus far failed to catch fire.

Whose will be the fantasy and whose will be the nightmare at the theatre of Dreams come Sunday? that's the juiciest question of the week, and possibly the year

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