Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ferguson admits derby game could decide title race

Sir Alex Ferguson has upped the stakes ahead of today's riveting derby clash by admitting it could decide the destination of the Premier League title.

Manchester City head to Old Trafford in the rare position of being able to look down on their rivals.

And Ferguson is finally taking the Blues' challenge seriously by accepting defeat at home could be a pivotal result in the title race.

A win for Roberto Mancini's men would move them five points clear of their rivals and push United into the unusual role of chasing a side famously labelled ``noisy neighbours'' by Fergie.

And the Reds boss recognizes this derby could finally live up to the over-used tag as being one of the biggest in the fixture's history.

He said: `` First and foremost it's a derby - you've got United versus City, and supporters are hoping they'll go into work on Monday morning with the bragging rights until the next game comes around.

``That's what a derby is all about, it doesn't matter where we're placed in the league now.

``Although, obviously, the significance of the game and the result could register at the end of the season in terms of who wins the title.''

Ferguson is not surprised his side are coming into the game looking up at a City team which will start with Sergio Aguero leading the attack.

He added: ``I would imagine it's the first derby since 1968 when City won the league and United were second and won the European Cup that they are coming into it at the top of the table. So 43 years ago?

``But it's what we said we expected at the start of the season. We expected City to be up there.

``Going into the derby with City top and us second is probably a fair reflection of both teams' form.''


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