While Real Madrid and Barcelona stole the spotlight over the weekend, Manchester United collapsed and Manchester City managed to beat the worst team in the Premier League (we bid you farewell, Wolves) to set up one of the most intriguing match-ups left in any European soccer league.
Next Monday United and City will meet in one of the most electrifying (and usually lopsided) derbies in Europe.
United currently leads the Premier League with 83 points. City is precisely three points behind with 80. City holds the goal differential tie breaker, so a tie in points would result in City taking first place.
For those that don't remember, the first derby between the two teams this season resulted in a 6-2 trouncing of Manchester United at home. This time, City will be the home team. It is looking to get the same result, and to inch closer to its first league title since 1968.
Of course after the derby there will be two matches left, which could still decide the championship. A United win in the derby would practically seal the deal for the defending champion.
Here is what the two teams have left in their schedules after the derby:
Manchester City gets a tough match against one of the few teams still playing for something in May: Newcastle United. Newcastle is currently in fourth place, with Tottenham inching close behind trying to steal that final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.
Newcastle won't be pushovers for City. For its final match, it faces Queens Park Rangers, which will conceivably also will be putting up a fight as it looks to avoid relegation. It should be an easy match for City.
United will face the always dangerous Swansea City in the first week of May. Swansea, stuck in the middle of the league table, will have nothing to lose or gain, although that might liberate it more than ever to play its dangerous, possession style soccer.
After that, United faces a Sunderland team that already shocked it once in the league. But Sunderland, like Swansea, will have little to win or lose.
With winnable games for both teams down the stretch (although clearly a tougher path for City), the derby could be the decisive game for both teams. Manchester United, mired in controversy, is hardly playing its best soccer, while City has been rejuvenated under the Argentinean duo of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero.
The little brother that is City is little no more. It will be looking to get the final vengeance, knowing that winning out the rest of the schedule will see it win its first title in close to 50 years.
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