Manchester United’s win at Aston Villa renders them almost impossible to oppose in the Premier League title race.
Nobody ruled out a ninth league win of the campaign even when Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were 2-0 down with half an hour to play at Villa Park, such is their attacking prowess, and their inevitable 3-2 triumph has subsequently seen them move into odds-on 10/11 shots to claim a 20th English crown.
If results go their way this weekend, they’ll be four points clear with 11 games played and their price will drop even shorter.
A four point gap is far from unassailable but, at the moment, is there a defence in the land that is going to stop them scoring?
Questions remain over their own back four and goalkeeper, with David De Gea at fault for Villa’s opener and Chris Smalling bullied all game by Christian Benteke, but this matters little when you’re equipped with the arsenal United boast.
Aside from Javier Hernandez’s second-half hat-trick, Robin van Persie hit the crossbar twice on top of plenty of spurned half-chances from other players which made them worthy winners, despite how fortunate the result looks on paper.
Perhaps the most ominous sign for their title rivals, however, is the fact that Villa played brilliantly throughout the match and would have surely won the game were it against any other opposition.
For them to leave the game with nothing was extremely harsh, but that exemplifies the quality United have at their disposal; you’ve got to score five goals against them before the points are safe.
Manchester City and Chelsea are now the only teams who can realistically prevent the Red Devils reclaiming the title though both have foundered in recent weeks. If the contrasting fortunes persist, both clubs will soon find themselves attempting to bridge an expansive gap at the league’s summit.
With games to come against Norwich, QPR, West Ham and Reading you can expect to see United pick up 12 points from 12. This puts the onus on the chasing pack to remain in touch until the Manchester derby the Etihad in early December but, given how they’re going of late, it’s hard to imagine them doing so.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date