Only ‘something stupid’ can halt City’s charge: Ferguson

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is hoping “something stupid” happens to crosstown rival Manchester City on the last day of the race for the Premier League title

Written by Associated Press | Manchester | Published:May 12, 2012 3:18 am

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is hoping “something stupid” happens to crosstown rival Manchester City on the last day of the race for the Premier League title.

City and United are level on points going into the final round on Sunday,though City’s superior goal difference means a home win against relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers will almost certainly help them clinch the title for the first time in 44 years. “We can only do our best and try to win the game,and hope something stupid happens to Manchester City,” Ferguson said ahead of his team’s trip to Sunderland.

“It’s not going to be easy for us up there and we know that,” Ferguson said. “We’re going there with a chance of winning the league and you know it’ll never be easy. These last-day games where you have a chance of winning the league,three times we’ve won it and once we lost it at West Ham. They’re not easy.”

City manager Roberto Mancini said the chance to win the title against QPR made the match harder than playing United. City beat United in the Manchester derby 11 days ago to draw level on points and maintained top spot with a hard-fought win at Champions League-chasing Newcastle last weekend to close on a first title since 1968. “We shall play against a team that plays against relegation,” Mancini said. “It will be hard,it will be difficult — more than Newcastle,more than United.”

After holding an eight-point lead at the beginning of April,United must hope for an unlikely slip-up to snatch a 20th league title. Ferguson praised Mancini for bringing his team so close to the championship despite having to deal with numerous off-field issues,including Carlos Tevez’s lengthy absence from the club and Mario Balotelli’s erratic behaviour. “It is obvious all the things he has had to deal with,” said Ferguson. “If he didn’t have the closeness to win the league,it might have fallen apart.”

Ferguson said the impact on City of losing the title after investing so much money and going so close could have severe repercussions. “We do tend to get there in the end but it looks like we’re going to miss out this season. We’re not looking as though it’s the end of an era for us. In many ways,it’s the start of one for us.”

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