• Analysis

Musical chairs, fifth place and Champions League qualification

Jose Mourinho
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Tottenham drew 1-1 against Manchester United in North London, leaping ahead of fellow Champions League and Europa League hopefuls.

Chelsea have the fourth place in their grip. They are five points ahead of any challengers and with eight games remaining, should secure Champions League berth for next year.

The drama does not end here.

Manchester City might get sanctioned and will be ineligible to participate in the next edition of Champions League. This opens up the fifth spot for potential hopefuls.

Another berth open

As it stands, Manchester United are in that position. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are unidimensional in approach and look bereft of ideas. But they have Paul Pogba in the dressing room.

The 2018 World Cup winner has in his element against Tottenham and it helped Manchester United get a share of the spoils. Was it the Jose Mourinho factor or is he really ready to give his all for United’s cause remains to be seen?

But it looks unlikely the United will stay their course. David de Gea has lost the plot and looks unreliable between the sticks. For his part, the reliable Harry Maguire looks off color as well.

Tottenham still has a chance

At Tottenham, Jose Mourinho finally has all of his attackers healthy. This has been a rarity in his six months in-charge. The pandemic break has worked out for his benefit.

Mourinho saw that coming and has been holed up with his coaches for the last two months. They have been lodging together for their final push at the points table.

Out of the scrappy affair, Spurs were the more compact side. They should have taken the three points on offer but Pogba arrived late to spoil their party.

Don’t forget the challengers

But it is not all about the Red Devils and their former manager. Between United and Tottenham lie Wolves and Sheffield United. The two upstarts are flying high and can usurp Manchester United.

They have working teams that give it all on the pitch. Out of the two, Sheffield have impressed the most but it is Nuno Santo’s side that have the better chances.

With Jimenez and Traore, they have two super stars that can change the game on its head any moment. Wolves will relish their chances against the established sides and have already proven their mettle.

One round of fixtures in and we have an exciting turn of events. We can only hope for more drama and excitement as race to the top heats up.