As D-Day at Eastlands rapidly approaches, every possible scenario in the title race has been running through practically all Reds’ minds. Although the thought of City winning at Eastlands is almost unthinkable, it’s something many of us have contemplated and wondered whether that would truly spell the end of United’s title hopes.
Some Reds have claimed that even if City do win on Monday, then they could still feasibly draw or lose their game against Newcastle next week, while other more optimistic fans even believe QPR could do us a favour.
City’s superior goal difference -currently at six goals, and obviously even more should they beat us, should see them crowned champions if they beat United, QPR and Newcastle, there’s little chance of the Reds being able to catch them.
There is a ‘chance’ though and that ‘chance’ leads to the possibility of a previously unthought of scenario- a play-off for the title.
I posed the question on twitter what would happen if United and City finished on equal goal difference with the same amount of goals scored? Thanks to @BUSBYMUFC who sent me a link to the Premier League handbook and the relevant pages which note:
“If at the end of the Season either the League Champions or the Clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because 2 or more Clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored, the Clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding League Matches on neutral grounds, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the Board.”
For that scenario to occur, United would need to batter both Swansea and Sunderland while City scrape wins over QPR and Newcastle, after all there would be eight goals -minimum- to make up after the derby.
At the moment United have scored 86 goals and have a difference of +54. City have scored 87 and have a difference of +60. If City beat United 1-0 then United, would be at 86 scored +53 going into the final two games. City would be at 88 scored +61 Let’s say we give Swansea a good hiding at Old Trafford, really take them to the cleaners 6-0. then go to the Stadium of Light, where Lee Cattermole gets himself sent off early doors and United run riot and win 4-0. City in the mean time beat Newcastle and QPR 4-3.
The final table would read United 89 points, Goals scored 96. difference +63, City 89 points, scored 96, difference +63. A play-off would therefore ensue and you can guarantee the bigwigs at the FA/Premier League would have it down at Wembley to maximise the money the can make.
I know this is all HIGHLY unlikely, after all the chances of all those aforementioned results coming in just the way I described isn’t exactly what you’d expect, mind you, who’d have thought we’d still be in the title race a few months ago, and who’d have though City would’ve been a few days ago? Stranger things have happened, let’s just hope a United victory on Monday, renders this all completely meaningless.