Chelsea’s 3-1 thumping of Manchester United on Sunday afternoon confirmed that the great United Empire is officially in ruins.
So easy was the way Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea swatted them aside that they made the champions look like a side blighted by the threat of relegation.
After a bright start, United appeared so lacklustre that it is hard to say whether the injured likes of Robin van Persie would have made any difference at all.
The Blues, along with Manchester City and Arsenal, must now vie to become England’s top dogs. They must fight to build their own legacy as the best side in the country.
Arsenal top the Premier League at this stage, and deservedly so.
The contribution from the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshire may have made the headlines but the impact from the entire squad has been sensational. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have looked solid at the back, Olivier Giroud has had his hot streaks and Mesut Ozil has dazzled without even hitting top form.
Yet a spell of troubling fixtures in February and early March could derail their title bid. For all of Arsene Wenger’s brilliance, it may not be enough to land them a first title in ten years.
Manchester City are the favourites having blasted teams aside with such ruthlessness that they have already hit the 100 goal mark for the campaign. Arsenal conceded six and United conceded four at the Etihad Stadium.
Their problems on the road appear to have been sorted. The depth of the squad is frightening – they barely even felt the injury to Sergio Aguero because of the sensational form of Alvaro Negredo.
The money, manager and players are all there for City to build a similar sort of legacy seen over at Old Trafford for over twenty years. After beating Bayern Munich in Europe they may even proceed to lift a maiden Champions League crown.
However, Chelsea are the side to watch now.
A fantastic Christmas coupled with a majestic New Year has meant the Blues are within touching distance at the top.
In Jose Mourinho, they have a manager who can get his players to do just about anything. Against the top sides it is a case of drawing away and winning at home.
He has spoken about remaining at Stamford Bridge for the long run, and with his history of winning titles, he could make Chelsea the best team in the country.
A championship this season would be his greatest achievement. This side is weaker than that of 2004, when he first took charge, yet could be destined for the top.
From the three, one of them will win the title.
And one of them must build their own Empire.
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