The Manchester derby for this season is not yet over as Manchester City and Manchester United could yet meet in the FA Cup.
Although all local derby fixtures between Manchester United and Manchester City in other competitions have been exhausted thus far in the 2019/20 season, one could still have one over the other, but this time, it will be with action away from the pitch.
It can be recalled that Manchester City were hit with a ban by UEFA from the Champions League for the next two seasons along with a huge fine.
Regardless, they remain confident that their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which was recently set to begin from June 8 will see them emerge unscathed.
The perennial rivals have met four times already this season. Twice in the Premier League, and twice in the Carabao Cup.
Manchester United led by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emerged victoriously over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City over two legs in the Premier League, and once in the Carabao Cup.
However, the Citizens beat the Red Devils 3:1 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup fixture at Old Trafford and qualified to the next stage of the competition with a superior goal advantage. The Citizens eventually won the trophy after beating Aston Villa 2:1 at Wembley.
After all these exertions on the pitch, it appears that both sides have another clash outside the pitch and the outcome will be massive for both clubs, either negatively or positively.
If the UEFA ban is upheld regardless of City’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, their positional finish in this season’s Premier League competition will count for nothing with the team in fifth position taking their place in the competition.
Now, guess the team presently occupying the fifth position in the Premier League? It’s local rivals Manchester United and they don’t look like relinquishing the spot with the run of form they were in before the league was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They could even finish higher than the likes of Chelsea and Leicester if they falter consistently. But this will only be possible if football returns to England this season as the idea of a return is being met with several oppositions.
If the Premier League fails to return this season and the UEFA ban against Manchester City is upheld, then Manchester United will automatically replace them in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
It remains to be seen if the ban will be reduced or canceled completely. If it’s not canceled completely, then the Red Devils will have one over their local rivals away from the pitch and by the help of some fortune.
No Manchester City fan will be happy to see the Red Devils take their spot in Europe’s elite club competition regardless of a ban or not. At least not their perennial local foes in football.
This thought would have crossed the minds of City fans who won’t want this to be the case, and also the minds of Man United fans who’ll be fully satisfied if they finish fifth and still take City’s Place in next season’s UCL, regardless of if the season is ended or not.
We look forward to seeing how this scenario pans out in the coming weeks with the likely resumption or cancellation of the 2019/20 Premier League. It ultimately depends on CAS’s ruling and which party the ruling favors.