If they lose, then the top five would suddenly be separated by eight points. On current form, City is the team that should be most fearful. Back-to-back wins over Chelsea last week, in the league then the FA Cup, seemed to put City back on track, but a loss to Southampton in the League Cup on Wednesday not only ended the team’s hunt for a quadruple of trophies but raised questions about the strength in depth of Pep Guardiola’s squad in certain areas. City has dropped points in two of its last four league games — both at home, in a 2-1 loss to Brentford and a 1-1 draw with Everton — and, currently, does not look like the machine that can go on a long winning run to take control of a title race, as Guardiola’s teams have done in the past. Worryingly, a frail-looking City didn’t even have a shot on target against Southampton, despite sending on Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland in the second half.
City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said their self-belief took a hit. “This United side is probably stronger than ever, at least in the recent past, ” Gundogan said, “so they are full of confidence, will play great football and we’ll need a much better performance than (against Southampton). ”No Man United manager has reached 20 victories at the club quicker than Ten Hag — he has achieved it in 27 games — but the