Premier League weekend: City with one hand on the trophy but they’ll need two to lift it
Noise: a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance. The noisy neighbours used to be a great way to describe Manchester City but undoubtedly now they’ve done more than disturb their friends down on Sir Matt Busby Way.
Yaya Toure’s two goals away at Newcastle, in what was arguably a bigger match than the Manchester derby that preceded it, have left Manchester City in a quite remarkable position.
They are just one win away from a trophy that has eluded them for over 40 years. In those 40 or so years they have been subject to humiliation of the bitterest degree with their local and despised rivals Manchester United wiping the floor with trophies.
Yesterday, seeing aged men bawling with tears almost ironically high up in the stands as if they were in heaven made me realise how sweet next weekend could be for the Sky Blues faithful.
It also made me realise how premature any Manchester City celebration is.
Let’s not forget that their opportunity comes against a side who (cue overused phrase) are fighting for their lives. QPR’s captain Joey Barton eloquently and insightfuly stated after their last gasp winner against Stoke that “it’s going to be 11 against 11”.
Looking back on it, Joey’s said some more intelligent words in his time but in a strange broken-down way he makes an excellent point.
Yes Manchester City have a near spotless record at home, notching up 17 home wins and only the 1 draw, but QPR are a side who are clearly resilient and determined.
They find themselves two points ahead of the drop zone and could well require a point to maintain their position in the Barclays Premier League. City need three points, one would be a fool to overlook who exactly their challengers are. Manchester United reside on the same number of points and will be ready to pounce on any slip from City.
At the top of the table, the only certainty next weekend is that the celebrations are going to be matched by the tears.
The only question is whether City have the bottle to overturn a hungry QPR side, and if they don’t, can United pick up the pieces?
It’s always risky predicting such a tantalising set of fixtures but I’m happy to give it a shot. I’ll also admit that a City win would be a great moment for the Premier League.
It would not only entice more foreign investment that brings the highest quality of player to our shores but it would break the mould of the same teams winning the title.
Having said that, somewhere in my mind I’ve got a feeling that they just might blow it, the media pressure this week is going to be severe. City’s champions elect are going to wake up on Sunday morning having individually been analysed all week by the press bubbling with nerves.
I also fully expect United’s players, who have won obscene amounts of titles between them, to be cool and collected as they go pressure free.