Premier League – Grant calls for Prem play-off
Avram Grant insists the only way to separate Chelsea and Manchester United would be a play-off to decide the Barclays Premier League title.
The two clubs are level on points going into the final day of the season with Grant’s Chelsea closing the gap in the last month but trailing on goal difference.
United’s freescoring style has given them the edge despite Grant targeting more attractive football since taking over from Jose Mourinho.
Grant said: “We’ve won games 6-0, 6-1, 4-0 and 3-0 this season. When you miss so many players, the first target is to win games, especially in the beginning.
“I must admit that United have played very good football. They think this is the best season since Sir Alex Ferguson came.
“But I prefer the system in Italy. You play a play-off if you’re level and it is decided on that.
“I have interest now to say that. But I like it anyway. Sometimes, you score more goals against weaker teams.
“If you have the same points, you are at the same level.”
Perhaps a winner-takes-all clash in Moscow combining the Champions League final?
Grant joked: “I think it’s a good idea, can you tell the FA?”
Instead of a mouth-watering play-off, the title will be decided on Sunday if United win at Wigan, which would mean Chelsea’s result against Bolton would not matter.
If it ends in disappointment for Chelsea, Grant may point to his first game in charge, at Old Trafford, when he felt the referee denied him a result. There have also been dropped points recently against Wigan and Tottenham.
But the gulf in goal difference may be the ultimate factor.
“You can’t push a button and change things immediately,” Grant said. “We’ve won many games playing attractive football. We can change it with the players we have here.”
United’s goal difference stands at 56, compared to Chelsea’s 39, but Grant feels his side have been playing the better football recently.
“There is no doubt about this, in the last month we have played very good games,” Grant said. “The best football at the right times against big teams and big managers. “Whatever happens on Sunday I will be very proud of what we have done this season.
“Alex said a few months ago it was the best Manchester United side since he’s been coaching. We’ve given a battle.
“If they take the title, and I’m not sure they will, it will be on goal difference.”
Regardless of the outcome, Grant feels his relationship with Ferguson will not be affected.
“I promised him an Israeli wine and we’re going to drink it before the Champions League final,” Grant said.
“We’re friends. I’m friends with other coaches who I’ve then gone out to try and beat. That’s what happens. I wanted to beat him, even if he was angry with me afterwards.”
SportingLife / Eurosport