Manchester United pulled off another late win over Newcastle United at Old Trafford. Can they win the title with a leaky defence over the rest of the season?
Well the sensible answer to this question would be no because sooner or later they are going to get beaten by a title rival which will cost them ground in the title race. However, the inadequacy of their main foes to take advantage of their poor defending this season means a title win, with one of the worst ever defences, is still very much on the cards.
Look at the results this season and the way the side has come back in so many tight games; Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester City, Reading, Aston Villa, Newcastle United. Ironically the games United should have been well beaten in are all matches where the side has been able to pick up points.
Sir Alex Ferguson is right in his concern over the defence because it’s terrible, simply terrible. United have conceded 28 goals over their home and away matches which is more than any other side in the top ten of the division. He has said these sort of performances can’t go on, as have many pundits but while the attack is proving so efficient, it would seem United can and will continue to get the side out of trouble.
“Never mind where we are in the table - that was a championship performance - I think it's given us all a lift - some of the football we played was fantastic - I wish it was the last game of the season. It tells you about the courage of our team though - That could have demoralised the team. But they didn't give in,” Ferguson told BBC Sport after the match.
United are closing in on 50 goals so far this season which is a truly staggering amount. If they can maintain that over the rest of the season then they can leak goals left, right and centre and they will still be winning more games than they lose. They have a seven point lead at the top of the table and anyone in football would agree they aren’t playing anywhere near their best.
The overlying danger however is that this is bad practice and will cost the team if they don’t sort it out towards the end of the season. Ferguson will know this and he will be working like an absolute maniac to sort out the defensive problems the side have over the coming weeks to ensure that their chances of winning tighter games later in the campaign are increased.
Can United win the title? Yes they can. Can they do it the way they are currently playing? Yes they can. Will they want to do it they way they are currently playing? Not a chance.
What do you think? Do you expect United to improve defensively?