Slick Southampton demolish the woeful City to potentially pry the Premier League title away from the baby blues just 26 games after ending their 44 years of baby-brother jealousy aimed at their next door neighbours.
Last seasons final flourish from Mancini’s men now begins to feel awkwardly fluky after United extended their lead to 12 points this weekend.
A substandard Manchester City were expected to feel somewhat reinvigorated after a frustrated Yaya Toure returned from an unsuccessful African Cup of Nations. Despite going unbeaten without the Ivorian powerhouse, two draws in the last two games saw clumsy City fall 9 points behind United in his absence.
Yaya added nothing but complacency, which complimented further mediocrity throughout the ranks of the stumbling champions.
Eden Dzecko may have got his name on the score sheet again, but there is something incrementally wrong with the City dynamic when spearheaded by the brutish Bosnian.
Obviously it seems like misdirected criticism when the goalscoring striker stands out in a team misfiring all over the pith, but his somewhat static, conventional style of forward play doesn’t compliment the incisive fluidity of City’s past attack. I feel as though a functional Argentinian duo playing off and in-front of each other and the likes of Silva will blossom as it has in the past.
Obviously their leviathan leader was dearly missed in a defensive line of misfits, but this is no excuse for the direction-less divas who roamed the field carefree and lackluster on Saturday.
Javi Garcia’s £15.8 million price tag looks increasingly like irrevocably inconsiderate spending. Manchester United’s team has grown encouragingly since their last minute heartbreak 9 months ago. City breath decline in all aspects of their game. Players who once delivered what was needed, however they could and over whoever they met, have seemingly shimmered their last light on Premier League silverware for the foreseeable future.
The lack of inspiration was evident in the embarrassing lack of movement in the Saints half. They were outplayed by the ever-improving relegation battlers of Southampton who move 6 points clear of the drop.
The forcefulness of United’s winning streak reeks of championship winning momentum. The leaderless, loose play of whimpering Mancini and his merry men projects a gap unbridgeable to many. Perhaps Mancini’s ’10% chance of winning the title’ can be seen as an optimistic outlook on the bleak season ahead.
With Mancini on the ropes he might have to start looking over his shoulder at Chelsea in 3rd (only 4 points separate them).
If City’s form doesn’t improve in the near future then Mancini’s head will be the first to go. Worrying times at present for all at the club, and a mere memory of short lived glory seems further and further away.