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Last Updated: Monday, 24 March 2008, 07:39 GMT
Hansen on the title race
Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

It is now difficult to go against Manchester United winning another Premier League title.

They lead Chelsea by five points, but with their massive goal difference, that effectively means six points.

They have been over this course and distance before, have tremendous strength in depth and can grind out results like no other team.

All the big players were on view in the Manchester United v Liverpool game - Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo - but the only one who really performed of that quartet was Rooney, who was magnificent.

Wes Brown, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani celebrate
Wes Brown, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani lead the celebrations

Of the top four teams, you can argue all day long about the quality going forward but the best defence by a mile is United's. Rio Ferdinand was unbelievable against Torres, who has been getting so many plaudits, and never gave him a kick.

Ronaldo didn't play well but got a goal and contributed. The great players are the ones who will keep going and give you something extra and you say that every week about Rooney and Ronaldo - what a great pairing they are.

Manchester United have got so many match-winners that if they've got two or three missing they have got great strength in depth and there will be someone else like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick or Anderson who will play really well.

However, if one team are to beat United to the title I believe it will be Chelsea. United still have to play them at Stamford Bridge on 26 April.

The game between Chelsea and Arsenal was a fascinating one and it was a match both teams really needed to win.

Arsenal were the better team for a long period but then they just fell apart under pressure and they are in freefall at the moment.

It was such a big game for Chelsea manager Avram Grant. When he has made substitutions before, people have criticised his judgement.

Chelsea's Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba caused all sorts of problems for the Arsenal defence

When he put the subs on against Arsenal, everyone thought it was the logical thing to do and it has come off for him and he takes credit for getting it right, but he needed to get it right.

Didier Drogba was also a big difference between the sides and is hard to handle. When the ball is played up to him, it is hard to defend against him and often something comes from it.

Arsenal are still the best team to watch when it comes to pass and move but you don't win the championship when you are playing well, you win it when you are not playing well and can grind out results.

They just can't do that as well as Manchester United can.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson won't be thinking United will win every match until the end of the season as there is still plenty of Premier League and Champions League action to go. He will be looking to consolidate his position.

Alan Hansen was talking on Match of the Day 2



SEE ALSO
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
23 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Man Utd 3-0 Liverpool
23 Mar 08 |  Premier League


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