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Friday 18 August 2017

Smalling targets second place ahead of City

Chris Smalling insists Manchester United are capable of overtaking bitter rivals Manchester City and finishing second in the league.

United put on their best display of the season on Sunday as they swept aside Tottenham in a near-effortless 3-0 victory at Old Trafford.

The impressive performance raised hopes and expectation levels at the club and Smalling thinks United are well-equipped to sustain that kind of performance level for the rest of the season.

United are two points behind City, who lost to Burnley on Saturday, and just one point adrift of third-placed Arsenal.

And Smalling is convinced finishing second above City is not just a pipe dream.

"Yes, I think we could, especially after City's result on Saturday," the United defender said. "It is all very close.

"We want Champions League football back here. It's a must. Fourth is the minimum but when it's there, second is a realistic target and if we keep on performing like that I don't see why we can't give it a good push."

United face Liverpool, Aston Villa, City and Chelsea over the next four weeks and then host Arsenal on the penultimate weekend.

Many viewed the difficult run-in as a reason why United could fail to qualify for the Champions League, but Smalling views the situation in exactly the opposite way.

"These games are six-pointers," the England centre-back said. "We can do ourselves a favour and do our rivals big damage as well."

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