It's taken a while (eight months to be precise) for Manchester United to start playing like a Manchester United team. £150 million was spent in the summer and this season has felt like an ordeal.
Every game seemed a struggle with key players consistently under performing and not living up to their glowing reputations. However, United have kept on winning. They have remained there or thereabouts in the top four.
It's an achievement in itself that a team can consistently play so poorly and keep grinding out results. The best player for United this season has been the goalkeeper. David De Gea has been brilliant between the sticks and has saved United countless times with a string of fantastic performances.
It makes it all the more extraordinary how well they played against Tottenham and Liverpool. All the aspects associated with United teams of old have returned in style. They have played with power, pace, aggression and high intensity.
Gary Neville stressed just how important it was for United to come through the first 15 to 20 minutes without conceding. He needn't have worried as United were simply brilliant and Liverpool never got near them in the opening exchanges at Anfield.
There was a general consensus from United fans after the Tottenham game that it was the best they've played all season. The mood has changed at Old Trafford with supporters upbeat about not just finishing in the top four but overtaking Manchester City.
United's chances of winning the title may seem slim but finishing in the top two appears realistic. Louis van Gaal has a CV most managers would die for and judging by the last two performances it is clear to see why he's been successful at the clubs he's managed.
We all knew it would take time for Van Gaal to adapt to the Premier League and for his players to adapt to him. Different formations, different systems, different players have been tried and tested but now Van Gaal seems set on a 4-3-3 formation.
His players have started to gel and appear to know exactly what is expected of them. Finishing in the top four may be a springboard to reaching the very top with Van Gaal at the helm.
Manchester United fans: where do you think your club will finish this season?
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