The transformation has been remarkable. Sure, it’s only been two games since we were seriously wondering whether Manchester United were about to have another car crash season.
But the last two games have been seminal for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United. The team has suddenly clicked into place and the quality of play has improved dramatically. Gone are the hopeful long balls and in has come precision and composure.
We always knew that Manchester United had great quality in their side – they are, after all, the most expensively assembled team in Premier League history – but it has taken until now for the right formula to come to the fore.
And, remarkably, Manchester United are now within spitting distance of Manchester City. If United beat Aston Villa at home in a fortnight (the international break is set to once more blight the football calendar) then a win against Manchester City at Old Trafford the following week will see The Reds leapfrog their bitter rivals – the transformation from bottom feeders to title challengers will be complete.
Apart from anything, the confidence of the team has increased beyond all recognition. The result on Sunday will only improve this further and Manchester United fans will be relishing, rather than dreading, the massive games ahead against the likes of City, Arsenal and Chelsea.