United's position a reason for Christmas cheer
This might not be a normal Christmas for everybody and families everywhere will be endeavouring to enjoy the festivities as best they can.
One reason for optimism, on a footballing level, is Manchester United's position in the Premier League table. It is the healthiest at this time of the year since Sir Alex Ferguson's reign.
Sky Sports have produced a graphic illustrating the positives of 2020/21 as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Reds lie in third place, with a game in hand on Liverpool and Leicester City. Of course, our next league outing is on Boxing Day, away to the Foxes, and there is genuine cause for optimism as we approach the end of a difficult year for everybody.
Real progress has been made, despite a difficult start when the team clearly looked short on fitness having failed to have a proper pre-season due to our Europa League exertions. While nobody will be getting carried away, fans can settle on the big day itself with the knowledge that, for the first time in eight years, United are not far away from the summit.
The Reds have twice been in eighth spot on 25 December since 2013, and have been placed sixth a couple of times. In 2017, we were in second but there was a sizeable gap to leaders Manchester City of 13 points. Last term, we were 24 points adrift of eventual champions Liverpool.
Our 6-2 demolition of Leeds United on Sunday means, at the time of writing, only Liverpool have scored more goals in the top-flight this term.
With a big date to come at Anfield on 17 January, in the first meeting of the clubs this season, and a fixture still to rearrange with Burnley (which was postponed from the opening weekend of the campaign), let's all hope United can keep up the momentum and make 2021 a special year.