Fergie: If City beat us, they deserve to win the league

The destiny of the Premier League title will be firmly in Manchester City’s hands if they beat leaders Manchester United at home on Monday, United manager Alex Ferguson has said.

United hold a three-point advantage going into the highly-anticipated showdown but a win for City would put them top on goal difference with two matches to play.

“I think City probably would win it,” Ferguson told the club’s website on Sunday. “Yes. I think, with two games left, they’d have a great chance.”

After Monday’s clash, defending champions United face Swansea City at home before completing their season at Sunderland.

City’s penultimate game is at Newcastle United, who are chasing a Champions Leagueplace, before Roberto Mancini’s side meet relegation-threatened Queen Park Rangers at home on the final day of the season on May 13.


United were eight points ahead of City in mid-April but defeat at Wigan Athletic and a 4-4 draw at home to Everton last weekend when they let slip a 4-2 lead have put their cross-town rivals back in the title frame.

Ferguson said he was pondering “two or three options” in team selection to face City, who have won three in a row.

“I just know what we want to do in the game. We’ve got enough experience and pace in the team, enough good footballers and determination,” Ferguson added.

“I think we’ll be alright in that respect. The game could be decided by anything, I hope it’s not by a bad decision, that’s for sure.

“There’s focus on both teams to make it a good game. It’s important as we’re representing the city all over the world. (Uefa president) Michel Platini is making an effort to come to the game. It creates a certain occasion and we want to represent ourselves the right way.”

Flourishing partnership
Mancini said the pressure was all on United.

“We don’t have any pressure because we don’t have anything to lose,” he said.

“For them, I think a draw would be a good result…but I don’t think they have this mentality. Like us, it’s difficult for us to play for a draw, we want to win always also when we play against a better team than us, like in this moment, like against United.”

Volatile striker Mario Balotelli is available again after suspension but Mancini is unlikely to break up the flourishing partnership between Sergio Aguero and ex-United man Carlos Tevez, whose return from exile has coincided with City’s revival.

Mancini said that he would likely sell the ill-disciplined Balotelli at the end of the campaign following his red card in a 1-0 defeat against Arsenal on April 8.

Asked if he could trust fellow Italian Balotelli for such a high-octane game on Monday, Mancini, with a smile on his face, replied: “I think this game, yes, only this game.” — Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Expect no charity from football’s elite

We should let go of the hope that our favourite clubs are going to act altruistically in English football’s looming financial crisis

Klopp and his Beatles move on from ‘Yesterday’

The wait was long and painful, from the endless jokes to that Steven Gerrard slip. But after 30 years Liverpool are finally Premier League champions of England

Five talking points from the EPL’s return

The Premier League returned after three months. Here are the things we learnt over the weekend

Rose says Premier League players treated like ‘lab rats’

The Premier League conducted 748 tests on players and staff on Sunday and Monday as part of their bid to restart matches in June

Tips to keep you entertained on weekends of no sport

Here are four things you can do while your favorite team is in quarantine

Covid-19 red cards major events

Sporting events, from football and tennis to rugby and cycling, on this year’s calendar are in doubt
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Entrepreneurs strike Covid gold

Some enterprising people found ways for their ventures to survive the strictest lockdown levels

Ithala backs its embattled chairperson

Roshan Morar is being investigated in connection with KwaZulu-Natal education department backpack sanitiser tender worth R4-million and a batch of face masks that vanished

Inside the illicit trade in West Africa’s oldest artworks

Nok terracottas are proof that an ancient civilisation once existed in Nigeria. Now they are at the centre of a multimillion-dollar, globe-spanning underground industry — and once again, Nigeria is losing out

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza: Liberating Africa from land of liberté

The cultural and political activist is on a quest to bring looted treasures back home
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday