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United on track for first Prem title since Ferguson era

Pin United on track for first title since Ferguson era. AFP
United on track for first title since Ferguson era. AFP

United on track for first Prem title since Ferguson era

After many years of hurt at seeing rivals Liverpool and Manchester City dominate the Premier League, 2020-21 could finally be the year that the Red Devils lift the title again.

Little did Manchester United fans know that when club legend Sir Alex Ferguson retired, they would fail to win the Premier League for 8 seasons and counting. 8 years of hurt.

Ferguson guided the club to a whopping 13 Premier League titles during his tenure as boss and hand-picked David Moyes to succeed him. However, that was the beginning of United's downfall.

The Scot couldn't repat the unprecedented success of his compatriot. Moyes only lasted 9 months in the United hot seat with the club going on to finish 7th and failing to qualify for Europe. They finished 22 points behind Manchester City.

Interestingly, that 2013-14 season saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finish bottom of the league with Cardiff. Fate would have it that he is top of the same league 7 years later. This time in charge of Manchester United.

Ole has had more experience as a manager though since that fateful spell in charge of the Bluebirds. He went on to have 3 years in charge of Norwegian outfit Molde but never actually won anything. His appointment at United was a huge gamble.

Solskjaer was tasked with returning United to their glory days and perhaps adding to the 1 FA Cup, 1 League Cup, 1 Community Shield and 1 Europa League they have won since Ferguson's departure. But the trophy they crave is the Premier League.

Ole has built a team in the 2020-21 season that is capable of winning the league. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has been a breath of fresh air with the Portuguese scoring 27 times and getting 20 assists in the 50 matches he has played for the Red Devils.

However, it's not just Bruno who has been getting the goals for United. They are the second highest scorers in the league with 36 goals (behind Liverpool with 37). Rashford has scored 7 of the goals, with Cavani netting 4 and Martial scoring 2. Pogba and McTominay have also scored more than once.

One thing that does slightly let them down is their defensive record. They have conceded 25 goals compared to Manchester City's 13.

United are also in the hunt for the treble as they host Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday and face Spanish side Real Sociedad in the Europa League next month.

With United at their halfway point in the season, things are looking very bright indeed. Despite Manchester City having the chance to move top by winning their game in hand, the Citizens were rocked by the news of star player Keven De Bruyne's injury.

United's next few fixtures are favourable and will be looking for close to maximum points with Sheffield United, Southampton, Everton and Newcastle all to visit the Theatre of Dreams in the next month. A Manchester derby on the 6th March will be key in the title race.

Whatever happens when the curtain comes down in May, Manchester United fans can have treble-winning player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to thank for returning the belief to the red side of Manchester and maybe, just maybe ending their 8 years of hurt.

Aidan Shearer

Aidan Shearer

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