Skip to main content

Ferguson: English Premier League title race is not over

April 13, 2012 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
Alex Ferguson saw his side suffer a shock 1-0 defeat at Wigan to throw the English Premier title race wide open.
Alex Ferguson saw his side suffer a shock 1-0 defeat at Wigan to throw the English Premier title race wide open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • EPL is the hardest league in the world to win believes Alex Ferguson
  • Ferguson warning Manchester United could drop more points in the title run-in
  • Arch-rivals Manchester City five points behind with five games to play
  • Two teams meet in likely title decider on April 30 at Etihad Stadium

(CNN) -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is warning that the English title race is not over despite his side holding a five-point lead over Manchester City with just five games remaining.

Ferguson's team were beaten 1-0 at Wigan Wednesday, allowing their city rivals to close up with a 4-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion.

City manager Roberto Mancini raised eyebrows when he appeared to write off his team's title chances in a post-match interview.

"United are a fantastic team and I don't think they can lose five points," Mancini told gathered reporters.

"For us it's important and they have a fantastic spirit. I think five points is too much."

But Ferguson is not being fooled by Mancini's apparent concession of the championship.

We know how difficult it is and what happens in the run in and has always happened, teams drop points
Alex Ferguson

"It's the hardest league in the world," he told CNN.

"We know how difficult it is and what happens in the run in and has always happened, teams drop points," he said.

Ferguson will be hoping that his team do not slip up again when they host Aston Villa Sunday because by then City could cut the gap to just two points with a win at Norwich in the early kickoff in the English Premier League Saturday.

Despite the shock defeat at Wigan, the legendary manager is upbeat about his team's performances after overhauling long time front runners City at the top of the standings.

"You know two months back nobody would have thought for a minute that we could be in this position and we have to just take advantage of it," he said.

"We are in good form, taking away the Wednesday game where I think we didn't play well.

"Our form has been consistently good and that consistency hopefully gets us the title."

Our form has been consistently good and that consistency hopefully gets us the title
Alex Ferguson

Ferguson will be hoping that his side have wrapped up a record 20th English crown before their trip to City's Etihad Stadium on April 30, a match being billed as the championship decider.

Less impressive has been United's form in European club competition, with a shock failure to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, then a two-leg defeat to Athletic Bilboa in the Europa League.

Ferguson is hoping United's poor performances and those of the other English teams are a "one-off" and results will improve next season.

"Over the last decade they have all done particularly well, getting to semifinals, finals, Chelsea, ourselves, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been in finals.

"So it's been an unusual season, hopefully a one-off and that English teams do much better next year," he added.

The 70-year-old Ferguson celebrated 25 years in charge at Old Trafford earlier this season, during which United have won 12 English Premier League titles as well as claiming the Champions League, in their famous treble winning season of 1998-99, with further success in the 2008 final against Chelsea.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT