Manchester United have played with Park Ji-Sung at left, alongside Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher in the centre of our defence, following the cripping defensive injuries United dealt with. This happened to coincide with when Edwin Van der Sar was also out injured.

It is strange then that Chelsea are only one point ahead, given their only really significant injury this season has been Michael Essien, but that is counter-balanced by Owen Hargreaves’ injury for us. It certainly should fill us with hope for next season, when we almost certainly won’t encounter such bad luck. Can you imagine where Chelsea would be in the league with Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack playing as their centre backs?

“Without those defensive injuries it could have been very different,” said Fletcher. “At one stage we had one fit defender in the squad. No team has been able to cope with that. We had three or four games in that position and ultimately it has cost us. If you are going to win the title in England you need a settled defence.”




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