IT said it all about the predicament in which Manchester United find themselves that their 2-0 defeat to Burnley at Old Trafford on Wednesday night felt like a huge deal for the visitors but, in a very strange way, just more of the same for those home supporters who clogged the exits with ten minutes still to play.
May I be the amongst the first to prematurely wish you a happy New Year? All the happier for United’s win at Burnley on Saturday night, of course, which left us occupying the dizzying heights of fifth place.
In a parallel universe Manchester United released their first financial figures of the post-David Moyes era this week, concluding six glorious years in which the club seamlessly moved on from the retirement of Alex Ferguson.
With a century of goals and a host of records set to tumble before the curtain falls on their title-winning campaign, Manchester City’s season continues to set new standards, which manager Pep Guardiola believes will mark them out as the best team in Premier League history.
It’s certainly been a week for unlikely bedfellows getting pally. Trump manhandled Macron; the two Koreans hugged; and then, most unexpectedly of all, Old Trafford embraced Arsene Wenger. Where once would rage ‘shooting by other means’ now reigned sentimental applause.
Antonio Conte’s damning and withering verdict of Chelsea’s performance as they threw away two points against West Ham has left even more question marks hanging over his future - with any hope of Champions League football next season now looking forlorn.
David Silva may have lost some of the headline space hoovered up by the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne this season but in the 83rd minute of this largely uninspiring victory, he showed why he is arguably still the man who makes Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City tick.
Wayne Rooney completed his first Everton hat-trick with a stunning effort from inside his own half as manager-in-waiting Sam Allardyce watched a 4-0 Premier League victory over West Ham from the stands at Goodison Park.