THERE is nothing funnier in football than those of a Manchester United persuasion moaning about money.

This is the club that splashed out on the Premier League’s most expensive player in £89million Paul Pogba.

This is the club that has the Premier League’s highest-paid player in £500,000-a-week Alexis Sanchez.

This is the club that hired the first manager to break through the £1BILLION mark in his transfer dealings.

This is the club that has a £75m striker (Lukaku), a £57m winger (Martial) and a £52m midfielder (Fred) in its ranks.

This is the club that can afford expensive mistakes like £60m Di Maria, £30m Bailly and £26m Mkhitaryan.

This is the club whose glory years were built on the twin pillars of a once in a lifetime crop of youngsters and blowing their rivals out the water financially year-on-year.

This is the club that bought Rio Ferdinand for £30m way back in 2002 when that was a huge sum of money – not something to fritter away on centre-backs you don’t rate and hardly play.

This is the club that is now miles behind its ‘noisy neighbours’ as Sunday’s 3-1 derby defeat proved beyond doubt. After 12 games United are 12 points behind City, level on points with Watford and Bournemouth and outsiders to finish in the all-important top four.

Pep Guardiola’s team did not just beat the men in red and black, they embarrassed them. The chasm in class was as big as the egos of Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar combined.

Last week this column said City’s players were looking super-human and they showed it with their third goal – 44 precision passes finished by Ilkay Gundogan which left United looking like training ground cones.

Sergio Aguero added to his legend in City blue with a stunning goal that made United’s only world-class player David De Gea look bang average.

And the opener came from another man who City will look back on as being one of the very best to pull on their shirt – the brilliant David Silva.

The contest ended with Raheem Sterling doing step-overs and everyone who said he was out of order just remember City have waited four decades to start taking the mickey out of United safe in the knowledge that it is they who are now superior.

Superior in all but one position on the pitch; superior in the dug-out and superior in the boardroom. Those noodle, tractor and red wine partners must be wondering if they have backed the wrong horse.

If this was a family United would be the eldest son and heir who was bestowed the family riches but became bloated and arrogant so is now looking jealously at his more talented younger brother who won the lottery and still has his hair.

TOTTENHAM seem intent of shrugging off the historical popular image that they’re a bit lightweight

Gary Neville incurred the wrath of many Spurs supporters – and former manager Harry Redknapp – when he said “Tottenham Hotspur, for 30 years of our lives, were spineless and soft, flaky, rubbish”.

This season – and they showed it again in the 1-0 win at Palace – they are winning ugly, battling hard, showing true grit and scrapping for every precious point. Juan Foyth was the unlikely hero in white, scoring his first career goal to see of the Eagles and keep his side in the hunt for a Champions League place.

Also picking up points without playing particularly well are Liverpool who have now kept 10 clean sheets in 14 Premier League games at Anfield in 2018; as many as they’d kept in the past calendar year (10 clean sheets in 21 home league games).

Basement boys Fulham went to Anfield with a game-plan and four central defenders but Mo Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri found a way through for a routine win.

Chelsea drew 0-0 with Everton so along with Jurgen Klopp and Guardiola’s stubborn sides keep their unbeaten league records intact.

Hopefully for the neutral Man City will not run away with it again and the title race will have more drama than an EastEnders Christmas Special.

But at this moment in time that looks as likely as the Carters, Beales, Slaters and Mitchells sitting down together full of festive cheer with nobody trying to kill each other.

AND finally there are a billion nerves in the human body and referee Simon Hopper irritated every single one of Charlie Austin’s.

A furious Austin launched a shocking – yet refreshingly honest – rant at officials after Southampton’s draw with Watford when his perfectly good goal was ruled out.

And when he was interviewed post-match it was clear the chains on his mood swing had snapped!

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