left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Ferguson hoping to keep City at bay

Updated: 2013-04-06 08:08
By Agence France-Presse in London ( China Daily)

Ferguson hoping to keep City at bay

United can move close to Premier League title with victory in derby

Alex Ferguson insists there is no chance Manchester United will allow Manchester City the satisfaction of slowing its title charge in Monday's derby at Old Trafford.

Ferguson's team is on course to regain the Premier League crown from its bitter rival after opening up a massive 15-point lead over champion City.

A victory against Roberto Mancini's second-place side would move United within touching distance of the title, but Ferguson knows City would love to at least delay its neighbor's 20th championship celebration by winning on Monday.

And with the finish line in sight, Ferguson is determined to ensure his players don't rest on their laurels.

"We've still got to win the title. We have eight games left. That's 24 points to play for," said Ferguson, who hopes to welcome back Wayne Rooney from a groin injury.

"The way we've approached things is the correct way and that's to win the next game, that's what we've always tried to do. Hopefully it takes you to winning the league.

"The important thing is to win Monday's game. It'll be a big game for City.

"They'll want to come and derail us for a spell. I can understand their motivation because we would probably have the same motivation. But we're at home.

"Our consistency in the league is there for all to see. I expect us to perform really well on Monday."

United's lackluster FA Cup quarterfinal replay defeat at Chelsea on Monday, together with the memories of last season's epic 6-1 win at Old Trafford, should give City encouragement that it can give its old enemy a bloody nose.

And while City's inconsistent league form looks to have scuppered its hopes of retaining the title, captain Vincent Kompany believes a victory over United would at least salvage some pride.

"A derby is a derby. I don't think we could care less about the league in that game," Kompany said.

"It is about who is going to be champions of Manchester, that is all it is. I don't expect Manchester United to be less motivated because they have this points gap between us where they are pretty safe.

"It will be like a one-off game, it will be like a cup final."

With the title race all but over, the real battles are being fought over the other two positions in the top four and at the bottom of the table.

Third-placed Tottenham hosts Everton looking to maintain its two-point advantage over fourth-place Chelsea, which faces Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, while fifth-place Arsenal can keep the pressure on with a win at West Bromwich Albion.

Sunderland's trip to west London also has significance in the relegation struggle.

The Black Cats are only one point above the bottom three, a perilous position that prompted owner Ellis Short to sack boss Martin O'Neill and make the controversial move to hire Paolo Di Canio.

(China Daily 04/06/2013 page12)

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.