English Premiership

City, United set for epic derby

2012-04-23 21:02
Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini (File)

Manchester - The stakes have never been so high for a Manchester derby.

Sure, Manchester United were once relegated after losing 1-0 at home to City but results elsewhere on that day in May 1974 meant the Red Devils would have gone down even without a back-heeled goal from former United striker Denis Law.

This time around, the northwest neighbours' business is being conducted at the right end of the table.

United were in control of their own destiny until Sunday's 4-4 draw against Everton tipped the balance toward City, who can now win a first championship since 1968 if they win their three remaining games.

"We've given City the initiative; there's no question about that," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "It makes the game at the Etihad Stadium a really important game now. It makes it the title decider, really."

There is still a week and almost an entire round of Premier League action remaining before the northwest neighboors go head-to-head at City's Etihad Stadium but the game is already dominating the sports pages in the British press.

Even with two more matches for each team after next week, the encounter is more important than any of the 44 Manchester derbies Ferguson has previously been involved in.

"Definitely," Ferguson said.

United looked to have a record 20th title in the bag after overhauling City but they dropped five of the last nine available points and momentum now seems to be with City, who already mauled United 6-1 at Old Trafford this season for the worst defeat of Ferguson's 26 years in charge.

Everton's four goals mean United have conceded more goals at home than in any league season since 1978-79, leaving Ferguson to emphasise spirit rather than stats.

"We make it hard for ourselves but we have to go there knowing we're capable of getting a result," Ferguson said. "We need to get a result now at the Etihad, there's no question about that. There's no reason why we can't do that."

The one thing in United's favoor is the experience of the title winners in their ranks.

"It's a huge game," Nani said. "It will be a difficult game, but if you want to win the league you cannot think about the atmosphere or the opponents, we must just think about the way we play and try to win the game."

"We have to keep believing in our qualities because we still have a great opportunity to win the title."

Ferguson has been trying to suggest the pressure is on City because of their players' relative inexperience and City manager Roberto Mancini has seemed ready to embrace that diminished status despite his team's greater financial muscle and depth of squad.

Mancini pointed out that there are still two more games for each side to clinch or throw away the title.

Defending champions United host Swansea and finish at Sunderland, while City are at fourth-place Newcastle before hosting Queens Park Rangers on the last day of the season.

"We have another chance but they have a bigger chance than us at this moment," Mancini said. "After the derby, the games United have left are not as difficult as the ones we have to play."

Read more on:    alex ferguson  |  roberto mancini
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Fixtures
23 November 2014
Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur, The KC Stadium 18:00
24 November 2014
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 22:00
29 November 2014
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal, The Hawthorns 14:45
Liverpool v Stoke City, Anfield 17:00
West Ham United v Newcastle United, Boleyn Ground 17:00
Swansea City v Crystal Palace, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Queens Park Rangers v Leicester City, Loftus Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Hull City, Old Trafford 17:00
Burnley v Aston Villa, Turf Moor 17:00
Sunderland v Chelsea, Stadium of Light 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.