Manchester United were not expected to challenge for the Premier League title this season after a poor start to the campaign. Back-to-back losses to Brighton and Brentford had the fans fearing for another poor campaign. But with new manager Erik Ten Hag looking to make a statement in England, the team is almost unrecognizable now.
The team has bounced back with victories against top six rivals Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and a draw against Chelsea to stake a claim for a top four finish. And even have a shot at the title.
That's quite a turnaround and shows just how much the team has grown in the last several months under the Dutchman.
Set to win the Caraboa against Newcastle United, just reaching the final of the competition will serve as a huge confidence booster to the team for the remainder of the season. A spirited performance that dumped out Barcelona from the Europa League to reach the round of 16 sets up the team perfectly to challenge for several trophies at the end of the campaign.
Sitting just three points behind Manchester City on the league table at the beginning of Match day 24 meant the team was ready to take full advantage of any slip-up from the Blues. With players like David De Gea, Marcus Rashford, Casemiro, Raphael Varane, Bruno Fernandes, Antony and even youngster Alejandro Garnacho in top form, Old Trafford is rocking again.
The Red Devils and their fans are dreaming again and for a good reason. Given the club's experience in winning trophies over the years, a title challenge is very much a possibility. The team has suffered just three defeats in their last 22 league games as it gets stronger and stronger. So anything is possible heading into the final stretch of the season.
That could be bad news for Manchester City. Unless Pep Guardiola masterminds a strong finish to yet another campaign.
City will need to take advantage of upcoming home fixtures against Newcastle United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea to collect valuable points that could make the difference at the end of the season. Having dropped points against Newcastle, Liverpool, Man United and Tottenham already, only a strong showing in the final stages of the campaign will do.
The challenge is not just to catch Arsenal at the top of the table but to also prevent Manchester United from catching up from behind. That makes the task at hand even more daunting. But it is one the team should be equal to.
So Manchester United are definitely a threat to City's title hopes this season. But that is to the extent City allow them to be. At the moment, the Blues have their destiny firmly in their own hands.