Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson Claims Three Minutes of Madness Against Manchester City Cost His Side the Title


IT'S not decided yet but Sir Alex Ferguson has already worked out exactly where he believes the title was lost - those three minutes of madness back in October.

Back then he did not know it, but as United crumbled in embarrassing fashion to a 6-1 defeat at the hands of derby rivals City the destination of the Premier League crown was being decided.

But now, having conceded the title with two games to go, the disappointed Scot looks back on the dramatic end to the painful defeat as the key moment in this year's campaign.

Two goals from Edin Dzeko and one from David Silva not only sealed an amazing win for the Blues, it created a goal difference that United have not been able to overhaul.

And if, as Fergie expects, both teams win their remaining two games it is that advantage which will decide who becomes champions.

City go into today's clash with Newcastle sitting pretty with a goal difference that is eight better than United.

Leaving a rueful Ferguson to accept there is no way his side can reel in the goals gap and snatch the glory.

He said: ``It looks as though we’ll lose the league on goal difference. You have to look at that game where we lost three goals in the last three minutes to City. That’s a goal difference of six.

``Losing a title like that is my worst nightmare. The opportunities we get in games we are frivolous with these things.

``It’s a difficult, hard league to win. You can analyse a lot of things about where you think you’ve lost the league.

``We had a fantastic run in January and February. We beat all the teams around us – Arsenal, Tottenham, drew at Chelsea.

``Losing to Wigan, who were fantastic on the night, was tough. But they’ve shown themselves to be a better team than their position shows.

``But that game with Everton was crazy, absolutely stupid. We scored some of the best goals we’ve scored all season and threw it away.

``So, you can analyse a lot of things, where you think you’ve lost it or won it. Sometimes you think you’ve had a bit of bad luck.

``At the end of the day it’s down to the points total at the end of the season. This season it’s different because for the first time in my experience it might be goal difference and that is why the City game counts.”

And missing out on the title by such a slender margin is not Fergie's only beef about competing with Manchester City.

He now fears the Blues are going to blow him out of the water as he tries to tempt the fresh talent to join United that he believes is needed to launch a title fight next term.

Ferguson already has some experience of the nightmare summer he faces - having sampled a taste when trying to sign Samir Nasri last summer.

A deal had been done with Arsenal for the Frenchman and terms were pretty much agreed until City shoved their size nine boot in the door and kicked the Reds out of the running.

Nasri was presented with an offer he could not refuse and Ferguson was sent back to the drawing board.

It's a scenario he fears is going to repeated again throughout the close season. Prices for players he fancies will be hiked when City come sniffing and wage demands are certain to jump if Roberto Mancini shows an interest.

Ferguson admitted: ``It has been insane for a while, for a long time. And I think clubs like City create that.

``They can buy all the players, and put a marker on all the players, it makes it difficult then for clubs to be reasonable.

``Nobody can match their financial power. No-one. You have to accept that.

``So we do it a different way. We have to look at younger players with the potential to develop within the club. We’re good at that so we’ll stay with that.

``I have to hope the lure of playing for United will help. I think we are good at certain things, we might not be good at other things, but we are good at producing young players, developing them at the club and I think we will stick by that.''

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