Would Manchester United really be top ‘any other season’?

Manchester City are 11 points clear and Jesse Lingard says chasing pack must be flawless

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard celebrates after scoring at The Hawthorns. Photograph: PA

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard celebrates after scoring at The Hawthorns. Photograph: PA

 

Forward Jesse Lingard admits Manchester United may have to win every game to beat Manchester City to the Premier League title.

The England international conceded they cannot afford to slip up with Jose Mourinho’s men sitting 11 points behind runaway leaders City in the table.

Lingard scored in Sunday’s 2-1 win at West Brom to close the gap but believes second-placed United are likely to need a 100 per cent record for the rest of the campaign to win the title.

He said: “Probably but we will take each game as it comes. We’ll concentrate on the next and see where we are at the end of the season.

“With the squad we have got we have to always believe in each game. Some games we will play badly and win and sometimes we will play good and lose so it’s one of those haphazards of football.

“I think any other season we would be top with the points we have so as long as we keep winning games that’s the most important thing and we will see where we are.”

United mightn’t be impressing many with the level of their performances, but their results have left them three points clear in second place after 18 games. So would they be top any other year?

Despite Lingard’s claims however, at this stage in 13 of the last 25 Premier League seasons - over half - this Manchester United team would not be top (BBC).

Lingard has scored seven goals for United this season, his best return for the club, and now he is playing centrally with Romelu Lukaku, who also netted at The Hawthorns, expects to get more.

He said: “Yeah, obviously I’m hungry for more goals and any way I can help the team — assists, goals — and to win the game is the most important thing.

“Playing centrally I think you get on the ball a lot more and you can make things happen more and you can obviously play closer to the main striker and get the bits off him.

“Obviously playing further forward you are going to get more goals and create chances so to play there with Romelu we are getting that understanding now and chipping in together.”

Defeat left West Brom two points from safety and winless in their last 17 games in all competitions and forward Oliver Burke said new boss Alan Pardew has underlined the need to improve.

“He got it into our heads that where we are in the table, we need to know and we need to step it up,” he said.

“We all know that. Now’s the time. We can’t wait because it whizzes by and we have to put it right now.”

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