United extended their lead at the top of the table to six points yesterday evening, after coming back from a goal behind to beat Arsenal 2-1. With Chelsea playing Wigan tonight, we could certainly do with more breathing room than just the three points that it would become with a Chelsea victory. With a trip to Stamford Bridge coming in a fortnight, a ground where Chelsea just don’t seem to lose, ever, the blues dropping points tonight would be a definite boost in our title chase.
Steve Bruce, former United hero and captain, is now the manager of Wigan, and has had a fairly successful season with the club. After a relegation battle which saw them to safety on the last day of the season, Wigan will almost certainly avoid the drop this time around, standing three places and five points above the relegation zone.
Taking points off Chelsea tonight could see Bruce handing United a significant advantage in the title race, but this won’t be the first time that has happened. Towards the close of the 1992-1993 season, the first year of Premiership football and what became United’s first title in 26 years, Bruce played a massive role in securing victory.
United were 1-0 down to Sheffield Wednesday, after conceding a second half penalty. With four minutes to go, Bruce popped up to score the equaliser, then scored the winner in injury time, leading to Ferguson and Kidd’s on pitch celebration.
“If we win at Stamford Bridge then I am sure Fergie will have a little drink,” said Bruce. “Mind you, I’d hope to get more than one bottle sent from Old Trafford myself if we beat Chelsea. They haven’t lost at home for four years, so I’d expect to get a case of the good stuff if we get a result down there,” he joked. “It’s a long time since I’ve had any influence on a title race and to be honest I haven’t even been thinking of this one because I’ve been concentrating on the other end of the table. Our home form has been good and if we can take that to Stamford Bridge on Monday night and they have an off-day then we could give them a hell of a game.”
Can Bruce do us a favour tonight?