Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has backed talks of his side being in a Premier League title race. The Red Devils moved to within nine points of league leaders Arsenal over the weekend.
Erik ten Hag's side beat their neighbours Manchester City 2-1 in an impressive comeback victory in the Manchester derby on Saturday (January 14). Many had envisioned the title race to be between Arsenal and City.
However, following the win, United now trail second-placed City by a point after 18 games. They're fourth, behind Newcastle United on goal difference, Varane, who helped nullify the threat of City's prolific frontman Erling Haaland in the derby, has suggested that Manchester United are in the title picture. He said (via ESPN):
"Everything is possible. We'll just take it game by game. It's a long way to go and it's very difficult. The intensity of every game is incredible, the physical effort."
Ten Hag's men are the only Premier League side still competing in four competitions. Varane went on to touch on the intensity of the English game:
"It's like the same intensity of a big Champions (League) game every game. The rhythm is very high. The players are very well prepared physically. We know how difficult it is. But we're solid; we're strong. We just need to use the quality players with the ball."
The French defender joined Manchester United in the summer of 2021 for £34 million. He endured a difficult debut campaign at Old Trafford as the side endured a poor showing. They finished sixth in the league and trophyless for the fifth straight campaign.
However, Varane has been superb alongside the likes of Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw at the heart of United's defence this term. He has made 15 appearances across competitions, helping the side keep six clean sheets.
Manchester United's Varane terms Casemiro's performance in derby as incredible
Casemiro was a key reason of why Manchester United secured a memorable 2-1 comeback win over Manchester City on Saturday. The Brazilian was everywhere on the pitch, dealing with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva. He also assisted Bruno Fernandes' contentious equaliser in the 78th minute.
Varane lauded the Brazilian's display and how he contributed to United's victory. The Frenchman told the National:
"There are no words. Ok, he covers so much ground. He runs so much. He’s aggressive when he wants the ball, yet calm when he has the ball. He was incredible one more time.”
Casemiro has perhaps been Ten Hag's best signing since arriving at Old Trafford. The Brazilian midfielder joined United from Real Madrid for £70 million last summer. He has made 27 appearances, scoring two goals and providing five assists.
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