For the second time in less than a week, both Manchester teams faced a very preferable situation. After seeing how the top four finished the day before, both Manchester City and Manchester United knew that they would be able to gain points on multiple top four teams if either win.
After Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool drew and Arsenal lost on Tuesday, the Manchester teams had a chance to get back into the top four on Wednesday. Manchester City did their part, defeating West Ham 4-0 but Manchester United drew Hull City 0-0 with an incredible Eldin Jakupovic performance in goal and almost lost the draw if Lazar Markovic’s uncontested shot didn’t go off the post.
This weekend, after Arsenal and Liverpool suffered losses, the Manchester teams could at least gain on those two teams and make the fight between 2nd and 6th place very tight.
Both teams certainly did that. After suffering a scare late in the game, newly signed Gabriel Jesus (insert Jesus religious related pun here) scored a brace to defeat Swansea City 2-1. This after Pep Guardiola made some rather risky changes, benching Sergio Aguero in favor of Jesus, playing Fernandinho at right back and starting Wally Caballero for a second consecutive game.
Manchester United and Leicester City was a bit closer but once Henrikh Mkhitaryan broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, the dam burst and Manchester United wouldn’t stop. When it was all over, Manchester United picked up the 3-0 win and also moved within the top four fight.
While Chelsea is running away with the Premier League title, 2nd to 6th is now up in the air. Tottenham’s win put them alone in 2nd with 50 points but now Manchester City (49 points) vaults to 3rd, a point back. Arsenal (47 points) is two points behind Man City in 4th while Liverpool (46 points) is on the outside, looking in, a point behind Arsenal while Man United (45 points) is a point behind Liverpool and five points behind Tottenham.
With just three months left in the Premier League season, these five teams are seeing their title hopes slip away to Chelsea. But at least we’ll get an entertaining, and sometimes frustrating, fight of musical chairs to see which of these five teams obtain three Champions League positions.