Gary Neville believes Manchester City have offered Manchester United “a ray of hope” in the Premier League title race.
Manchester City restored their eight-point gap over Manchester United on Sunday thanks to David Silva’s late winner against West Ham United.
The result at the Etihad Stadium was City’s third consecutive 2-1 victory in the space of eight days, with the league leaders thoroughly tested by their opponents before striking late on.
“It has been a tough week for Manchester City, but a good one, though it has also been a good week for Manchester United as well, in terms of competitors chasing City,” Neville told Sky Sports News. “[United] might, for the first time this season, have just seen a little ray of hope, that there will be better teams than Huddersfield, Southampton and West Ham, yet all came close.
“All three played a certain way and got joy with certain things – counter-attack has been a problem for City this week, set-pieces and corners have been a problem this week, deep and compact defences have also been a problem this week in terms of breaking them down.
“You would argue, given what happened at Arsenal on Saturday, that United do have that counter-attack ability with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard, and that they do have the ability to score from set-pieces, and they are a better defensive unit than Southampton or West Ham.
“United will be confident going into the game because of what has happened this weekend for City, even though it has been a good week for City too, as they’ve scored three late winners and have taken maximum points.”