Manchester United did themselves no favours on Saturday night, as they drew against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a goalless match, which put them firmly behind Manchester City... a place they should dread to be.
United have been dropping points like spare change over the past four Premier League matches, which included two draws, one loss and only one win.
They’ve lost their grip at the top of the table and are now in second place at 41 points. But how do they compare?
Manchester City “fighting like animals”
In comparison, Manchester City are topping the lot with 44 points and a game in hand. Not only that, but Pep Guardiola’s team seem to be in tip-top shape and ready to roar. The manager described his team’s performance against Sheffield United on Saturday, which resulted in a 1-0 home win, as “fighting like animals”.
City are now at a club-record of 12 games unbeaten. In those dozen successive victories, only one was a draw (0-0 against the Spurs), while every other result was a win.
If City win their next game, they’ll be six points clear of United. It’s a dangerous place for the Red Devils to be and the fall from grace would be steep from here.
However, even Guardiola kept a level head about what the future might bring for his boys in blue.
“We will drop points, it’s about how we overcome it. Hopefully we react good in the bad moments, which for sure are coming,” said the manager.
Can Arsenal maintain this form?
Meanwhile, Arsenal have broken their winning streak over the last two games with their draw against United. However, their form, while theoretically incapable of saving their season, is fairly more promising than it was a few weeks ago.
Even down at 9th place on the table, the North London club won three of their last five consecutive games, and drew the other two.
Manager Mikel Arteta didn’t take the goalless result too harshly.
“I thought it was a fair result,” Arteta said.
“It was a big battle, both teams wanted to win, and it was a really competitive match … It is [a sign of progress for Arsenal]. Considering the circumstances and all the players we don’t have, it was a big test for us, and I think the team turned up and showed how much they wanted to win the game.”
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been missing from the pitch for several games as the player flew out to be with his mother, who is ill.
Star defender Kieran Tierney and 19-year-old goal-scorer Bukayo Saka were also excluded from the match as a precaution, due to their injuries.
Home advantage — not too bright
Meanwhile, Everton lost 2-0 to Newcastle at Goodison Park, proving that the home advantage means little to teams this season, as they play to empty stadiums.
Aston Villa also lost at home to Southampton, while West Brom drew 2-2 against Fulham at The Hawthorns.
The only two wins at home this weekend were for Crystal Palace, who beat the Wolves 1-0, and Manchester City.
We can expect to see a few more home losses this gameweek, as West Ham (fifth on the table) play at home against Liverpool (fourth), and Brighton play at home against Tottenham.
Meanwhile, Chelsea (tenth) will have a chance at home against Burnley (fifteenth). Leicester (third on the table) might have an edge against Leeds United (12th), as the two teams battle it out for three points.