Real progress has been made, despite a difficult start when the team clearly looked short on fitness having failed to have a proper pre-season due to our Europa League exertions. While nobody will be getting carried away, fans can settle on the big day itself with the knowledge that, for the first time in eight years, United are not far away from the summit.
The Reds have twice been in eighth spot on 25 December since 2013, and have been placed sixth a couple of times. In 2017, we were in second but there was a sizeable gap to leaders Manchester City of 13 points. Last term, we were 24 points adrift of eventual champions Liverpool.