The race to finish in a Champions League spot 2014/15

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Sideshow Bob

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West Ham, Spurs, Everton, Liverpool, City and Everton have all dropped points. This weekend has been an excellent one for United.
 

JSNFRMN

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Draw between Swansea and Arsenal the best result or would we prefer a Swansea win?
 

JSNFRMN

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Our game against Arsenal in 2 weeks is finely set up now after results this weekend. We need to get serious now, it's there for the taking with Arsenal, West Ham, Spurs, Everton, Liverpool and City all dropping points this weekend. Win against Arsenal in 2 weeks and we'll probably be 4th with home games against Hull and Stoke to come. A real chance to get a run of wins together going into a busy December and January.
 

IrishManc.

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We really have been fortunate that those around us have been playing dropping points, any other season and we'd have a bit of a mountain to climb.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Yep, true.

Below is a comparison (without context) for points tally after 11 games in the last 5 seasons.

2010/11
Chelsea 25 points
United 23
Arsenal 20
City 20
Spurs 15
Liverpool 15
Everton 14

Final top 4: United, Chelsea, City, Arsenal.

2011/12
City 31
United 26
Chelsea 22
Spurs 22 (10 games)
Liverpool 19
Arsenal 19
Everton 10 (10 games)

Top 4: City, United, Arsenal, Spurs.

2012/13
United 27
City 25
Chelsea 24
Everton 20
Spurs 17
Arsenal 16
Liverpool 12

Top 4: United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal.

2013/14
Arsenal 25
Liverpool 23
Chelsea 21
United 20
Everton 20
Spurs 20
City 19

Top 4: City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal.

2014/15
Chelsea 29
City 21
Arsenal 17
United 16
Everton 14
Spurs 14
Liverpool 14
 

se7en

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Fortunately for us everyone apart from Chelsea seems to want to play in the Europa League.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Big win today. Hopefully we can kick on now and go on a strong run.
 

JSNFRMN

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It's there for the taking. I'd be a lot more confident if we could keep players injury free and get a settled back 4/team.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Van Gaal on being fourth: "I’m happy but we have to be at least fourth at the end of the league. Now is not so important. We have to improve our playing style and we have to beat more easily our opponents."
 

Sideshow Bob

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Top four now slowly starting to take shape, I think.

1. Chelsea Played 16 Points 39
2. City 16 36
3. United 16 31
4. West Ham 16 28
5. Southampton 16 26
6. Arsenal 16 26
7. Tottenham 16 24
 

JSNFRMN

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Just need to take it 1 game at a time and just concentrate on what we're doing.
 

Berba_God

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I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the City result. I saw the score when they were winning 2-0. I thought I not going to even bother check the score again for them playing Burnley at home. I thought it was going to be 5-0.

Good set of results for Arsenal. I bet they regret the last minute goal against Liverpool even more now. Tottenham also breathing down our neck but I can't see them getting anything against Chelsea.
 

Sideshow Bob

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United's Premier League fixtures until March.

11th January
Man Utd v Southampton
17th January
QPR v Man Utd
31st January
Man Utd v Leicester
8th February
West Ham v Man Utd
11th February
Man Utd v Burnley
21st February
Swansea v Man Utd
28th February
Man Utd v Sunderland

We can potentially go on a good run. It's important we do, considering the tough fixtures in March and April.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Despite the draw, today has been another decent day with Liverpool and Arsenal dropping points. Spurs could drop points against Chelsea too.
 

Berba_God

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Yeah the results for the teams below us have been forgiving to our draw
 

JSNFRMN

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It was only a bad result because of the context of the game. Should have scored 2 or 3 but could have conceded late on so I wasn't too disappointed with a draw in the end. Same again today, a point at Stoke is not a bad result but they were there for the taking I felt, I don't think they were their usual physically dominating side. We really should have won at least one of our last 3 away games though.
 

boothstownred

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Strange season really. I guess we have to be happy where we are but it could have been so much better.
 

JSNFRMN

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Lots of ifs and buts of course but I said early on in the season that if we were in touching distance of top 4 come Christmas I'd be pleased as I thought we'd improve in 2nd half of season so to be in 3rd already is fine with me. We've survived the tough Xmas schedule and our injury problems have got better, it was over 8 injuries for most of the season. Now done to about 3-4 but with a few struggling for match fitness. Looks like Blind and Di Maria are back training. Rojo not far away. Fellaini and Valencia maybe too. Young looks like he'll be out for a month or so though.
 

Sideshow Bob

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I am less confident than I was three weeks. United's form has dropped off, while Southampton, Arsenal and Tottenham have steadily improved. Two big games now against QPR and Leicester.
 

JSNFRMN

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Yeah I've lost confidence. Form at the minute very similar to a year ago. Promise around Xmas but rubbish in the new year.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Van Gaal: "Our goal from the beginning was that we start a process to be within the first four because we want to play in the Champions League, and that is still our goal. At this moment we have played 21 matches and we are in the area of the four. We have to fight for it because a lot of other teams are willing the same goal. There are more clubs who are fighting, they have the quality of the players so it shall be a battle. Of course I think we can do it, but that's football, we lost against Southampton and we were the better team. That's football.”
 

Sideshow Bob

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West Ham United - 8/2/2015

It's going to be a roller coaster! There's going to be plenty of ups and downs from now until the end of the season.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Liverpool v Spurs - other than a draw what result would you prefer?
 

bludsucker

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Pool to lose purely on sentiment. Also Spurs have a history of just falling short of the mark when it comes to top 4.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Two good days with Southampton and Spurs dropping points.

I think we'll need 7-9 points from Swansea (a), Sunderland (h) and Newcastle (a) before tough fixtures in March and April.
 

JSNFRMN

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Swansea City - 21/2/2015

Big struggle on our hands now. Much better in midfield today but defence was a mess and we don't have goals upfront.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Big point for Spurs or two points dropped?

Not confident we'll make top four, I haven't been for a while to be honest. I think another 7th is possible. Hope I'm wrong. Performances have been gradually getting worse for a while now and there is no magic switch. Sunderland and Newcastle are two must win games.

Not sure what result I want between Southampton and Liverpool.
 

JSNFRMN

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Not confident right now either but things can change very quickly in this league. A series of bad results can lead to a winning run as we've already seen this season. Tough games ahead but so have other teams. It's very tight between 3rd and 7th. 4 points between the 5 sides I think.
 

IrishManc.

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Performances have been gradually getting worse for a while now and there is no magic switch.

Thought similar up until yesterday. Despite the defeat I thought we played very well. We completely controlled the second half and had an extremely dominant spell up until Shelvey scored. I don't like managers blaming luck but I think van Gaal had a point yesterday, we really had no luck whatsoever.

But it will be a big battle now to get 4th. I wouldn't be overly worried about Spurs or Southampton to be honest I think they will both fall away but it's Liverpool and Arsenal who I'm worried about. Liverpool have been playing very well the last while, Sturridge back now too which will give them another gear.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Form since 1st January.

Liverpool - Played 7 Points 17
Arsenal - 7 15
Southampton - 7 13
Spurs - 7 13
United - 7 11
 

Sideshow Bob

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Van Gaal on the prospect of not making the top four:

“Big disappointment, of course, a big disappointment. When you start the season with the objective of finishing in the first four of the league it is your objective and you are occupied with doing that. But we are still there, I don't know why are we talking about it when it is not like that, because we are still there. What is the problem?”
 

Sideshow Bob

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Good result at The Hawthorns. United are now four points ahead of Southampton.
 
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