Manchester City, with their unprecedented riches, can buy just about any player they wish. But Sheikh Mansour’s billions can’t provide the team spirit, will to win and courage to risk everything for a late winner that's been built into the DNA of Sir Alex’s United sides.
When making my way down from our lofty commentary position at Eastlands after Saturday’s game, I kept overhearing the shattered City fans calling United lucky (well, that and a few other choice words). And yet this was the third time this season United had beaten City with virtually the last kick of the game. Is that luck? Of course not.
On Saturday, City were patently happy with a draw and Roberto Mancini’s cautious approach led to the less-than-attacking option of Patrick Vieira coming off the bench. United, meanwhile, went for it, with Obertan, Nani and Berbatov all sent into the fray. So often when United need a late goal it arrives. It’s become one of the team's hallmarks.
And who else would you rather see a late chance fall to than the old maestro, Paul Scholes. New contract, same old Scholes. The celebrations of the whole squad at the final whistle told you all you need to know about the significance of the result.
Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any better, Chelsea imploded at Spurs. I must admit that when I left Ewood Park last week I’d given up on the title. But it’s right back in the melting pot again. And it means there's a scenario on the horizon that is so delicious I can barely contain my excitement. Liverpool could beat Chelsea at Anfield in a fortnight and all but hand United the trophy that would give Sir Alex's men a record-breaking 19th league title. Glorious, isn’t it?
Of course, there's a lot of water that needs to pass under the bridge before that happens. After beating Arsenal and Chelsea in quick succession, Spurs will come to Old Trafford on Saturday brimming with confidence. And yet, they always lose here. They were 2-0 up here last season and still lost. But in this crazy season, nothing is certain anymore (apart from City winning nothing again).