Manchester United have struggled for large chunks this season, but sit five points off Liverpool with a game in hand. How far could they go if they actually clicked?
The 6-2 victory over Leeds on Super Sunday was just their second home win of the campaign, but their superb away form means they are within touching distance of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
It's fair to say Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been sub-par for much of the season, and have struggled against sides who set-up in a compact style, particularly at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer has seen Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood dip in form, yet their league position tells a different story. So on the latest Pitch to Post podcast, we asked: are they actually underachieving this season?
Have Man Utd underachieved?
Sky Sports' Gerard Brand:
We've spoken so much about how streaky this Manchester United side are and they're showing it again.
What's quite interesting is that if we're right in saying this side have massive room for improvement, have mistakes to cut out, and yet they're in a position where they're only five points off all-conquering Liverpool - with a game in hand - that suddenly becomes really encouraging for Manchester United fans.
If it all clicks, imagine what they can actually do. Just imagine a Manchester United-Liverpool title race.
Like Tottenham, Manchester United need a different mode when they're playing against a compact side. Against Crystal Palace they had 75 per cent of the ball and lost the game. Against West Brom they had 63 per cent and scraped a 1-0 win. Against Arsenal they also had more of the ball and lost. They actually create more big chances when they have less of the ball.
To throw things forward, in recent weeks we've had both Roy Keane and Gary Neville insist Solskjaer needs a trophy, so Wednesday's Carabao quarter-final at Everton is huge for both sides. That could actually be a defining moment in the season.
Then it's Leicester away, Wolves at home and Villa at home over the Christmas period for Manchester United, all teams who can cause big problems. But if there is that room for improvement, what if they start to click, what do we begin to see from Solskjaer's side?
Performances need to be consistent, not just results
Sky Sports News' Ben Ransom:
They're starting to get a bit of consistency again; but the performances are not quite as consistent. That's where people get frustrated with United. We do see evidence of an exciting, attacking unit. But they still have games where you expect them to turn up and blitz a team, but they struggle.
The players just don't seem to have that same motivation and drive every week. That is currently the difference between a team like Liverpool and a team like Manchester United and others.
Liverpool are ruthless, and turn up with a hunger and intensity, as we saw against Crystal Palace. They have players in that team who will get amongst them if it's not going their way, and drag them. Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk last season, and also Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will take the ball and take it on their shoulders to do something special.
You wonder whether they have that at United; there are still some players looking at each other when things aren't going right. They do feel some way behind Liverpool, but in terms of the 'other' teams in this title race, they're in it, and they may well be Liverpool's closest challengers.
There is a real pressure to win a trophy, and that's where the Europa League becomes a bit of a problem in terms of contending for the title. I cannot see how a team can win the Europa League and the Premier League, I think that's an almost impossible task.
McTominay has grown into role
Sky Sports News' Ben Ransom:
I think Scott McTominay can take confidence from the man-of-the-match performance against Leeds; he wanted the ball, and that's one thing United players have been criticised for by their ex-professionals, a lack of players who stood up at all times in difficult moments and wanted the ball.
Bruno Fernandes instantly tried to change that when he arrived.
McTominay has grown into the role, looks assured in the middle at Old Trafford, which is a daunting place to play for any player.
It's not just the goals on Sunday, it's how he got around the pitch, being a natural leader, and taking responsibility.
The challenge now is what he does next: I don't think McTominay will be a 10-goal a season midfielder, and I think this Leeds game was a perfect storm for him. I don't think he's going to get this space in every game.
United become unstuck when teams come to sit, stay compact and play perhaps five across the middle. That wasn't the case with Leeds and we saw United express themselves.
- Dec 23: Everton A (Carabao Cup QF) - live on Sky Sports Football
- Dec 26: Leicester A
- Dec 29: Wolves H
- Jan 1: Aston Villa A - live on Sky Sports Premier League
- Jan 9: Watford (FA Cup 3rd round)
- Jan 17: Liverpool A - live on Sky Sports Premier League
- Jan 20: Fulham A
The shambles at Arsenal continues as they are beaten at Everton, and after Mikel Arteta channels his inner Rafa Benitez with a list of statistics, the Pitch to Post panel provide some other damning metrics.
In the Regional Review, Adam Bate discusses West Brom, Aston Villa and Wolves, and we also look at Tottenham's defeat by Leicester as Jose Mourinho was played at his own game to cap off a bad week.