David Sadler column
IT has been a great few days for United in their bid to win a fourth straight title. The victory against Liverpool on Sunday and Chelsea's draw with Blackburn was a double boost. And the fact the Champions League draw paired our other Premier League title rivals Arsenal with the tournament favourites Barcelona is another plus for the Reds' title hopes. But we can't take anything for granted at the moment and at this nervous stage of the season I would rather not go too over the top about things. Of course, Chelsea losing ground is a big bonus and you would think Arsene Wenger having to take on the mighty Spaniards could distract Arsenal from their title challenge. But let's not forget United still have to go to Ewood Park on April 11, as do Arsenal on May 1, so Sam Allardyce can have a major say in the outcome of the title, and the way his side played against Chelsea suggests they could throw another couple of spanners in the works. On the European front you can certainly look at the Barcelona draw for Arsenal as being a potentially major distraction. It's a toughie for them. But you can also see that Arsenal have nothing to lose from it. Everyone who saw Barca, and particularly Lionel Messi's performance against Stuttgart last week and again in La Liga on Sunday cannot fail to be impressed. Not too many people really expect Arsenal to go through, and that can sometimes relax a side and, may even spin-off into their league form. Arsenal are looking the most relaxed of all the title challengers at the moment because of their run-in and the fact they've been written off so many times. On the other hand, Chelsea are suffering a blip with the Ewood Park draw following their Champions League KO. I have to say United are looking a touch nervy, we were not free-flowing against Liverpool and that maybe is something we are going to have to accept. But United have the experience of title run-ins. Both manager and players have been through it all before. Carlo Ancelotti hasn't been through a Premier League title race before but a lot of his players have. Arsene Wenger is a veteran at it but the majority of his squad aren't. Hopefully, United's experience on and off the pitch will be crucial.
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