The Manchester derby will be engrossing when the occasion finally arrives tonight. Even in spite of the 15-point gap, City will raise their game and United will consider a victory an essential part of their 20th title.
But, for all that, it is not the game that the Premier League hoped it would be. Not even close.
It has been a dismal season in terms of the level of competition for the title, especially in these final stages of the season, and Chelsea and Arsenal have to take some blame for that as well as City. But these things tend to be transitory. Next season will be different and from what Sir Alex Ferguson has been saying, he acknowledges that too.