Back foot forward

Vidic and Ferdinand the cornerstone for United

Last Updated: 18/01/11 7:30am

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Vidic: superb against Spurs

Vidic: superb against Spurs

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Tony Cascarino believes Manchester United's defensive resilience will take them to another Premier League title.

"Can they do it on away draws? Of course they can, if they keep winning their home games. They are finding it so easy to defend right now and are just stopping teams getting the better of them. "
Tony Cascarino Quotes of the week

Sir Alex Ferguson's side returned to the top of the table after grinding out a goalless draw at Tottenham, despite being reduced to 10 men.

It means United are still unbeaten after 21 games, although they have now just one twice on the road in 10 attempts.

But Cascarino insists that form is good enough to take them to a record-breaking 19th league title, thanks to the defensive strength they showed at White Hart Lane.

"It was a difficult game yesterday and I certainly thought Tottenham were the better side," he told Sky Sports News HD.

"But Man United as always, kept grinding it. I thought (Nemanja) Vidic and (Rio) Ferdinand were exceptional at the heart of their back line. It was a game Tottenham edged but the doggedness of Manchester United was there for all to see."

Cascarino believes the central defensive pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic could prove to be the key players, which underlines how different the current side is.

In the past they have relied on the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, but with the latter failing to find any sort of goalscoring form, defence could yet be there best form of a attack,

"It's really tough because we know they're not playing well," said Cascarino. "But if you take last season when their talisman was Wayne Rooney who scored well in excess of 20 goals in the Premier League, basically the whole of their title last year was based on one guy being exceptional - and he hasn't really turned up this year!

Testament

"He's got nowhere near those goals, he's a got a couple of penalties and one or two goals in open play. He hasn't turned up and they're still top of the league.

"Can they do it on away draws? Of course they can, if they keep winning their home games. They are finding it so easy to defend right now and are just stopping teams getting the better of them.

"The display against West Brom was testament to how they've been all year; they looked like losing the game, West Brom missed a penalty, they were the better team yet United came away the victors."

Manchester rivals City are level on points with United but have an inferior goal difference and crucially, have played two games more.

And irnoically, Cascarino believes their own defensive approach to games could well be what costs them a first league title in 44 years.

Roberton Mancini's star-studded side won a seven-goal thriller with Wolves in arguably the game of the weekend, but have been criticised in the past for being over-cautious - not least against Arsenal recently.

"They are very, very good defensively and they are coming together," said Cascarino.

"David Silva looks better, Yaya Toure looks better, but I just think that the conservative approach earlier in the season has cost them five or six points - and will probably see them fall that far behind United at the end of the year."

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