Two Down, Three To Go: Can Anyone Stop The Manchester United Steamroller?

Manchester United won the League Cup final on penalties against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley yesterday afternoon, leaving them on course for what could possibly the greatest achievement ever by a club side – a clean sweep of all tournaments this season. This season has been quite a different one to last season for them. They picked up the two trophies that really matter to them – the Premier League and the Champions League – and played some breathtaking, swashbuckling football on the way, but they slipped up in the FA Cup and the League Cup. This time around, however, Alex Ferguson has been more ruthless. In fact, this year’s Manchester United has taken on many of the characteristics of (and one suspects that no-one will want to hear me say this) the great Liverpool side of the mid-1980s, grinding out results when not playing particularly well, defending absolutely and resolutely, and occasionally playing football of such effortless simplicity that even the most hardened of cynics has to stand back and merely admire the quality of football on display. They have lost just once, inexplicably to Derby County in the First Leg of the League Cup semi-final since the start of November, and it’s difficult to see where their next defeat is going to come from. There is a point to which one could argue that they have been somewhat...

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