Saturday 21 September 2019

Gary Neville picks out three games Man United must win to keep title hopes alive

Gary Neville
Gary Neville

Mark Critchley

Gary Neville has said that Manchester United may have to beat Manchester City in next month's derby in order to retain realistic hopes of winning the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola's City re-established their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table on Sunday by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Huddersfield Town.

Raheem Sterling's 84th-minute strike ensured City would win their 18th consecutive game in all competitions, with Southampton set to visit the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

Pep Guardiola's City re-established their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table on Sunday by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Huddersfield Town.

Raheem Sterling's 84th-minute strike ensured City would win their 18th consecutive game in all competitions, with Southampton set to visit the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

United, meanwhile, travel to Vicarage Road to play Marco Silva's Watford a day earlier and on Saturday, Jose Mourinho's side face a trip to the Emirates to meet fourth-placed Arsenal.

Neville sees United as City's only remaining challengers for the Premier League crown, with third-placed Chelsea already 11 points off the pace.

However, the full-back also believes that in order for Guardiola's side to be stopped, United must not only take maximum points from both away days this week but also claim victory in the Manchester derby on 10 December.

“I think United have to win at Watford and have to win at Arsenal. You think about those two games this week, they have to make sure they are close enough to Manchester City,” he said on Sky Sports's Gary Neville Podcast.

“It won't be complacency that costs this Manchester City team but it could be pressure, as it builds through December, January, February if another team gets close to them.

“At this moment in time, it is United who are closest to City and I don't think Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea are right this season. United are certainly the most capable, I think, to mount a challenge to City but it's about getting close enough to them.

“At the moment, City's performances are really good, it's a high level, but you have to retain hope if you are Manchester United. You have to think that something could happen in a couple of weeks' time in that Manchester derby that could start a run of results, that put some doubts in City's mind.

“That's the only way United can be thinking: do your own job, win your own games and certainly, you have to beat Manchester City yourself. One thing you can't ask everybody  else to do is pull points off the top team if you're not going to do it in your own games against them. United have that opportunity in a couple of weeks.”

Independent News Service

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