Red Devils 'back in the race': What United's return to form could mean for Spurs

Tottenham fell this past weekend while Aston Villa and Manchester United both advanced in points, leading some to believe that Spurs have a new competitor on their hands amidst top-four aspirations.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Spurs' loss last Saturday saw them drop to fifth in the Premier League table, one point behind Aston Villa and just three above Manchester United. Villa and Tottenham have been battling it out over the past few weeks, each taking turns at the lowest of the top-four spots. Now, however, it seems that United is entering the picture with four wins in their last four games.

While Tottenham struggled in week 25 of English football, the Red Devils held out in a 2-1 victory over Luton Town, where both of their goals came from Rasmus Hojlund in the first seven minutes of the game.

Before the clash with Luton, United beat Villa 2-1, West Ham 3-0, and Wolves 4-3. For a team that's struggled to find the back of the net this season, with just the 11th most goals scored amongst the league's 20 teams, Erik ten Hag's side have been able to pull out 11 goals in their past four fixtures.

According to Sky Sports' Gary Neville, this resurrection of form is going to cause problems for Tottenham:

"You can feel Ten Hag is more confident in his team and that they're in a better place... He'll fancy hunting down Tottenham and Villa for the top four. They'll be feeling the pressure."

Of course, it's too early to make any wild conclusions about how the side will fair across the remaining 13 matches, but Neville alluded to this as well in his comments, stating "I'm not saying Man United will get there but there is a bit between their teeth." Ten Hag also commented on his team's form (via Sky Sports): "We are back in the race and are building momentum."

Many fans will likely agree that the Premier League is as competitive as ever, and amongst Villa, Spurs, and United, it's hard to say who will emerge victorious in their Champions League pursuits.

Postecoglou and Ten Hag's sides have already faced each other twice this season, with Spurs winning one and the teams drawing the second time around, meaning they won't play again until the fall.

In the meantime, both sides will work to focus on the matches they have in front of them. Tottenham have the next two weeks off before they host Crystal Palace, after which they'll face Aston Villa in what may be one of the most important matches Ange Postecoglou encounters this season.