Manchester United were dead and buried at half-time in April’s Manchester Derby. Jose Mourinho’s men were two nil down but it could quite easily have been four or five at the interval – it really could have ended up rather embarrassing for United. However, the Red Devils rallied after the break and scored three second-half goals in front of the joyous travelling fans.

As bad as United were in the first period, Mourinho’s men came out after the break and produced an attacking performance reminiscent of the Sir Alex Ferguson years. The United boss should now use that success as the platform for Premier League success next season – playing attacking football IS, and always has been, the way forward. We could be seeing a different approach at Old Trafford in 2018/19.

Let’s not beat around the bush; City have been a class above the rest of the Premier League this season. Pep Guardiola’s side will win the top-flight title but United aren’t a million miles away in terms of results. Since the start of 2018, United, 1/5 with William Hill to finish second in the table, have picked up more points than their city rivals and Mourinho’s men are heading in the right direction. Critics will attempt to convince you otherwise but the statistics don’t lie.

Alexis Sanchez deserves credit for his efforts in that Manchester derby. The former Arsenal man hasn’t enjoyed the most prolific of starts to his United career but he was sublime at the Etihad, recording two assists, as well as providing the initial inch-perfect cross that led to Paul Pogba’s first goal. Sanchez is almost unplayable at his brilliant best and the Chile star is capable of firing United to the title on that form.

Antoine Griezmann would give the Red Devils a boost in the final third but do United really need the Atletico Madrid man? Most fans wouldn’t turn Griezmann down – he is a world-class talent – but another big name arrival would mean that the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are pushed further down the pecking order. Supporters are calling for both players to feature more often and Mourinho could listen to those cries.

Defensively, United are in dire need of support – signing a competent, experienced central defender must be the number one objective in the transfer window this summer. Chris Smalling, scorer of the winning goal in that Manchester Derby, just doesn’t cut it as United’s senior option and Eric Bailly needs support. A Mats Hummels-calibre player is needed at the Theatre of Dreams in order to build a title-winning team.

Ignore the papers; United are getting closer to the Premier League crown. Mourinho’s men are still in the FA Cup and victory in England’s oldest club competition will keep supporters happy for the time being. The Portuguese led United to two trophies in his first season at Old Trafford but the domestic title is his primary objective. United have shown that City are not unbeatable and the blueprint for a first Red Devils title since 2013 is there. If anyone can mastermind United to the title next season, it is Jose Mourinho.