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Berbatov aims to summon spirit of '99
Published : 17 Dec 2010 09:12:45
Never mind Arsenal's invincibles Dimitar Berbatov wants to emulate United's Treble-winners of 1999. United broke a club record with victory over the Gunners on Monday, extending their unbeaten run from the start of a league season to 16 games. It has led to speculation that they could match Arsenal's feat in 2004 when Arsene Wenger's side went undefeated for an entire campaign on the way to the title. Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed such talk as impossible but Berbatov has even loftier ambitions ahead of Sunday's title showdown with Chelsea. United are two points clear at the top of the table and through to the knockout stages of the Champions League. And leading scorer Berbatov reckons they are equipped to compete on all fronts eyeing a repeat of 1999 when United won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in dramatic fashion. Victory at Stamford Bridge would move them six points clear of champions Chelsea with a game in hand, and would only strengthen the belief that the Treble could be on again. Berbatov said: Our priority is to win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. Our priority is to win everything and we have the chance to do it. We have the players to do it. It is too early to say, but I hope we will be on top at the end of the season. This season Berbatov has produced his best form since his club record £30.75m move from Tottenham in 2008. His 11 goals so far have been a major factor in United's rise to the top of the table, despite Wayne Rooney being injured for much of the campaign. United have also been boosted by the alarming dip in form of Carlo Ancelotti's side since storming in front with five straight wins at the start of the season. They have won only one in their last seven games in the league, slipping to fourth in the table. Mountain Victory for United on Sunday would be their first at Chelsea since 2002 and leave Ancelotti with a mountain to climb to claw back the difference in the New Year. But Berbatov refuses to count them out of the title race. The football we play today, everybody can beat anybody, said the Bulgarian. Even the last team can easily beat the big four and this is going to keep happening in the future. That is why it's so interesting. You never know who will be top the next week. Our main rivals are the same every year Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool even if they are little bit behind. But everybody can be involved. Let's just hope at the end of the season we can be at the top of the table. United lost twice to Chelsea in contentious circumstances last season, in games that ultimately had a major say on the destination of the title. A disputed free-kick led to John Terry's winner at Stamford Bridge, while Didier Drogba was clearly offside when scoring what proved to be the decisive goal in Chelsea's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in April. Chelsea went on to win the league by a single point. Despite their slide in recent weeks Terry believes last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Tottenham was turning point in the title race. I'm hoping this is the end of it, he said. We've gone through a blip, as we've seen other teams do. We've got a massive home game and it's important now the fans stay with us, even through a bad spell in the game of 10 or 15 minutes, because when you play against a quality side, they are bound to have a good spell of possession. As long as we stay solid on the pitch the fans stay with us, I'm sure playing like this, we're going to be back. It's not a crisis at all at the moment, we're still in with a shout of the league and we've just topped our Champions League group. Early on in the season we were playing very well and if we can get that form back, with other teams slipping up we can pull away from teams again. Nothing has changed, it's just about staying together. Will United beat Chelsea? Have your say.