Manchester City fans will have no doubt enjoyed the weekend's victory over Chelsea tremendously, with a strong performance that has quelled many doubts about their ability to hold onto second place in the Premiership.
However there might also have been a tinge of frustration, as had David Silva and Yaya Toure reproduced the form they showed in the game against Chelsea throughout the rest of the season, their side would no doubt be far closer to defending their Premier League title.
For all the positive talk after that game that they can still catch Manchester United and the references to their successful comeback in the title race last season, they are surely too far behind this time around. United are not only 12 points ahead with 11 games to play, they are in supreme form, and look unlikely to drop many points in the next few months.
For City, they can still compete in the FA Cup, and guarantee they beat off any competition from Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to claim second, but this will seem like a hollow victory if they are comprehensively beaten in the title race by their neighbours.
Last year Silva and Toure were central to their success, and correspondingly the poor form they have shown this time around has been key to their failings. Toure started well this season but faded well ahead of his departure for the AFCON.
However in the win over Chelsea, they showed they can still perform at the highest of levels, with Silva jinking between Chelsea's defensive lines to create chances and Toure dominant in striding forward to open the scoring.
If they can maintain this form, City could well claim the FA Cup, adding a welcome trophy to a largely disappointing season, but given the gap they have allowed Manchester United to open up in the league, this return to form might be too late to defend their title.
Next year, City fans will be hoping that the likes of Silva and Toure don’t wait until February to turn up for their side.
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