With all the millions spent by Sheikh Mansour on his ‘project’ Manchester City, it was only a matter of time before his investment began to bear fruit on the field.
That said, there was still a reluctance – maybe almost disbelief – to consider them title challengers, given just a few years ago they were considered Premier League also-rans.
This was reflected in the premier league betting, with their bitter rivals Manchester United – perhaps by virtue of their greater experience – leading that particular field. Punters, used to the status quo of United dominance for so long, kept asking – could City actually do it?
On Sunday they got their answer.
City’s Old Trafford destruction of United could go down as one of the most pivotal and symbolic results in the division’s history.
The sheer amount of long-standing statistics blown away by Roberto Mancini’s men is alone enough to mark this game as one for the history books.
It was United’s biggest home defeat since 1955, the first time United had conceded six goals at home since 1930, their first loss at Old Trafford since April 2010 and first time since 1926 City had scored six in a Manchester derby.
Those looking to Bet on the Premier League can no longer ignore the noisy neighbours. The sheer manner of the way United – England’s dominating force for nearly 20 years – were swatted away by a free-flowing, skilful and ruthlessly clinical City side has rightly placed them as favourites to win the Premier League.
That will bring pressure of its own but such is the pace of City’s oil-fuelled revolution, these are no wide-eyed players thrust into the limelight for the first time, these are expensive, well-paid international stars used to the pressures of football at the very top.
True, there were always going to be question marks about how a team put together so quickly would gel, but the individuals are so good the collective doesn’t really matter – though if Sunday is anything to go by it seems Mancini has already managed to form City into a unit capable of challenging anyone, anywhere.
Perspective is needed – it is only October – and United have shown time and time again that they won’t be kept down for long. But the City ‘project’ is like no other seen in football before. The Sheikh will spend and spend and spend until he gets the glory he craves and no-one – not even Sir Alex Ferguson – looks like stopping him.