From the Telegraph
If Sir Alex Ferguson awoke yesterday morning with Manchester United's failure to extend their Premiership lead on his mind, he need not have worried.
Manchester United may have lost 2-1 at Arsenal on Sunday, yet their advantage over second-placed Chelsea remains six points and, if Premiership history is anything to go by, they are unlikely to be overhauled.
In only four of the last 14 seasons have the leaders at this stage failed to hold on to pole position. Last season, Chelsea had a 15-point advantage in January, and went on to win by eight points.
For Chelsea to gain any comfort from history, they need to think back to 1996. Newcastle were nine points clear with 14 games to go, yet capitulated. After manager Kevin Keegan ranted, "I'd love it if we beat them – love it", United proceeded to win the title by four points.
For that remarkable turnaround, United won 13 and drew one of their remaining games. It is that type of run that Chelsea need now to stand any chance of a third successive title. Their 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday hardly suggested a barnstorming finish to the season.
There is another positive for Ferguson. In putting his side ahead at the Emirates Stadium with only his ninth league goal of the season, Wayne Rooney scored with a header for United for the first time.
"Rooney – as I said before the game – wants to get into a routine of scoring an odd goal here and there and that's what good goalscorers do," Ferguson said. "Our intention was to come to Arsenal and win.
"It was a difficult game for Chelsea, I thought Liverpool would win, I expected that. This was always going to be a hard game but having been in so much control it's disappointing.
"I think there will be more twists and turns, both teams will drop points. Teams always drop points during the run-in – it's the name of the game.
It happens, and it's how you cope that is important. It will be the measure of us.
"Only true champions can come out of that disappointment and I'm sure we will do that."
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