United just about scraped through to join the other big four North West teams in the draw for the FA Cup fourth round with a less than impressive win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday.
The draw has been kind to the two Manchester teams, with City and United hosting Fulham and Middlesbrough respectively.
Liverpool entertain Cardiff at Anfield – while inconsistent Everton are up against Brentford at Goodison Park.
How United beat Steven Gerrard’s Villa, who were all over us, is beyond me.
And like all true Reds, I’m totally baffled about what’s going on with Marcus Rashford. He was a world beater not so long ago, for both United and England – but not anymore.
The 24-year-old looks a sad shadow of his former self. He didn’t crack one smile on Monday night, despite playing on one of the greatest stages in world football.
He’s not the only one. Bruno Fernandes’ form is dipping alarmingly, just like non-descript Edinson Cavani.
I thought Fred was impressive in the middle of the park, while MOTM Scott McTominay continues to prosper in Ralf Rangnick’s new era.
What struck me the most was the number of tame, weak and inaccurate passes from keeper David De Gea and the rest of them.
I’m dreading to think what will happen on Saturday when we again take on Villa, this time away from home, as we look to get back on the trail of trying to achieve a top-four finish – the least we can expect from a club of United’s resources.
Betfred make United slight favourites to win, but don’t rule out Villa with Gerrard certainly getting more of a tune out of this sleeping giant of a club.
Meanwhile, league leaders City host Chelsea at the Etihad in what is undoubtedly the game of the weekend.
I’ve already paid out to the tune of £750,000 on City retaining the PL title, and I can’t see more than another three points for them here.
It was great that City didn’t moan and just got on with it against Swindon in the FA Cup third round, despite Covid problems in camp. They were rewarded with a convincing victory and delighted neutrals nationwide by giving star of the future Cole Palmer a full 90 minutes.
The 19-year-old prodigy from Wythenshawe impressed on the pitch – and his interview afterwards, when he showed his Manc credentials, will go down in football folklore.