Alan Shearer has claimed that the title race is over after Manchester United dropped points against Leicester City on Saturday.
But the visitors missed an array of chances to kill the game off and were duly punished by a late Harry Maguire equaliser, leaving Man United 13 points behind Manchester City, who won 4-0 against AFC Bournemouth.
And Shearer, speaking on Match of the Day, was quick to note that any semblance of a title race had vanished by Christmas.
“It is as good as over. Manchester City have been remarkable,” he said.
“Two defeats in 2017 in the Premier League so they are not losing five in the second half of the season.
“The title race is over.”
13 points is the biggest lead at the mid-point of a season in Premier League history – a statistic cementing the breathtaking otherworldliness of Man City this season.
The title was gone the moment Pep Guardiola’s men won at Old Trafford, stretching their lead to 11 points. They’ve added two more points to their advantage since then and will only continue to move away from the pack, the other 19 teams just kind of doing their best.
And we simply have to applaud them. They have dropped just two points all season and no manager in the world could bring this current United squad to that level. But they remain in second and, with 19 games played, find themselves on course to claim 84 points this season – 14 more than their highest since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club.