Manchester City refusing to panic despite United lead

David Platt accepts Manchester United are in pole position for the title, but insists there is plenty of time for City to catch up.

The Reds edged out Newcastle United in a seven-goal thriller on Boxing Day, at the same time Manchester City fell to a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland. This leaves the Blues and reigning champions trailing their great rivals by seven points, with half of the season left to play.

Sir Alex Ferguson will need no reminding that his side were in a similar situation last term with only a handful of games remaining, yet in one of the most dramatic endings to a campaign of all-time, they surrendered the title to City by virtue of goal difference with the last kick of the season.

United will therefore be taking nothing for granted this time round, but Etihad Stadium assistant manager Platt accepts the Old Trafford club are currently in pole position. However, he has also warned his neighbours that there is still some way to go before the medals are handed out in May.

“Seven points is a significant amount, there’s no doubt about it. United are in the driving seat but there is half a season to go,” he said. “I don’t think it is insurmountable. It’s not as though we are playing badly. We feel as though we are playing well, we are producing efforts on target. We are dominating possession and every statistic in most games, except goals.”

On Saturday, the leaders welcome West Bromwich Albion to Manchester. The Baggies have been the surprise package of the Premier League season thus far, and are currently being denied a top-four position due only to an inferior goal difference to both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.

City, meanwhile, travel to East Anglia to face Norwich City. Last season Roberto Mancini’s men left Carrow Road on the back of a resounding 6-1 success in what was the second of a six-match winning streak. It is unlikely, though, they will get such a gentle ride this time round, despite the Canaries losing their last two fixtures. Prior to this, Chris Hughton’s side embarked on a 10-match unbeaten run, which included home victories against United and Arsenal.


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