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Have Manchester United become title contenders? Ten Hag answers the question

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By Martin Graham | 16th Jan 2023

Manchester United defeated city rivals Man City 2-1 in a highly controversial match to go third on the log. The victory over the Citizens brings the Red Devils within one point of the defending champions.

The arrival of Erik Ten Hag seems to have rejuvenated Manchester United, but it is hard to shake off the air fortune in his impressive run so far. The Red Devils defeated city rivals Manchester City 2-1 on Saturday to move into third place on the log. The victory has got United fans celebrating like they just won a title.

It is not surprising, as that is what five years without a trophy and nine years without winning the Premier League can do. United is a trophy-starved club, and any little gain becomes massive. Erik Ten Hag is the new messiah, and they have started rendering songs of praise to him. At the moment, the Dutchman can do no wrong.

In their worst state, Manchester United have gotten victories over Man City, but the win on Saturday was different. It brought their tally of victories to nine straight wins and has given the club reason to believe. Following the masterplan of Jose Mourinho of using experienced veterans with young players, many are asking if United have become a title contender.

Manchester United are back in the title race

A mixture of doggedness, determination and a massive dose of fortune has turned the fate of Manchester United around. The club has made a strenuous journey through the wilderness and is looking good for their money. They are the only side still in four competitions and are likely to win the Carabao.

It might not be a trophy to bang on about, but for a trophy-starved club like Manchester United, it is a title worth celebrating.

On Saturday, the Red Devils defeated Manchester City 2-1 in a highly controversial affair. The Citizens will have something to complain about, and rightly so, as the referee gave a new meaning to the offside rule. The equalizing goal by Bruno Fernandes will be a bone of contention for years to come, as fans will want to know what constitutes a player being offside.

It is safe to say that Manchester United is back in the title race, but based on some referee decisions, one can say they were never out of the race. They are now third on the log and a point off the defending champions Manchester City. It is a warning to league leaders Arsenal not to drop their guard.

The road ahead

While some have asked United fans who don’t care about the referee’s decision not to moan when the boot is on the other foot, United should understand the season is just about halfway, and they are yet to win anything. The days ahead are arduous, and the business end of the season is just about to set in.

Basking in the glory of returning to being in the title race debate, United have a date with Crystal Palace on Wednesday before a visiting Arsenal in London. Arsenal is six points above United, but it could become nine if the Gunners secure a victory over Tottenham on Sunday.

Arsenal have been the team to beat this term, with their only loss this season coming against Manchester United. The defeat to United was also another contentious affair.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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