MANCHESTER UNITED can go top of the Premier League for the first time since 2017 when they face Burnley tonight.
The Red Devils know avoiding defeat in their game in hand at Turf Moor will see them leapfrog Liverpool into top spot – a place which they haven’t been in during the season in three and a half years.
This is the team that last sent Manchester United top of the Premier League table
Romelu Lukaku scored in a 2-2 draw away at Stoke in September 2017Credit: Getty Images – Getty
And should they manage that against Sean Dyche’s men, it would end a 40-MONTH wait to sit at the top of English football.
United did start the 2018/19 season in first place, but that was because they beat Leicester 2-1 on Friday night’s opening game of the season. By the end of the matchround they were in seventh.
A 2-2 draw away at Stoke on September 9, 2017 was enough to jump back above Manchester City on goal difference.
Earlier that day, City had stuffed Liverpool 5-0 at the Etihad to end the Reds’ unbeaten start to the campaign and move on to ten points from four matches.
It meant Jose Mourinho’s men knew they would go top with a point after winning their first three matches of the season against West Ham, Swansea and Leicester by an aggregate score of 10-0.
However, their perfect start was halted by Mark Hughes’ Stoke, with the managers not shaking hands at full-time.
But who was playing for United that day?
Six of the starting XI are still at Old Trafford as the strong form continues under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
David De Gea was in goal with a centre-back pairing of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones – with the latter currently well out of the picture and likely to be transferred this month.
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What was happening in September 2017?
- Donald Trump was eight months into his presidential term
- Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do and Too Good At Goodbyes by Sam Smith hit UK No1
- PM Theresa May made her Florence speech to set out the UK’s stance on Brexit
- Prince George had his first day at Thomas’s School in Battersea
- Kensington Palace revealed the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with their third child
- Jimmy Anderson bowled Kraigg Brathwaite to claim his 500th Test wicket for England
- Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens were tennis’ US Open champions
- Paris was named as the hosts for the 2024 Summer Olympics
- Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin ended in a controversial draw
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic lined up in midfield with now-PSG man Ander Herrera.
And Marcus Rashford started on the left of a front three with Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – with the latter two since moving to Italy.
Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial came off the bench while Sergio Romero, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick were unused subs.
Rashford was credited with the opener after Pogba headed the ball against his head for an equaliser after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – now of PSG and Bayern Munich fame – opened the scoring at the bet365 Stadium.
United took the lead when Mkhitaryan slipped through Lukaku, who saw his initial shot saved but he converted the rebound.
But Choupo-Moting rescued a point for the Potters by heading in Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner.
Except for two days over New Year following a 0-0 draw with Southampton to make it three stalemates in a row, United stayed second all season – but finished a whopping 19 points behind centurions City.
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Paul Pogba’s header bounced off Marcus Rashford to equalise on the stroke of half-timeCredit: AFP or licensors
Eric Maxim Choupo-Mouting scored twice at the bet365Credit: Getty Images – Getty