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Mancini maintains United still favourites

Ferguson staggered by terrible defending

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted two minutes of madness at Old Trafford could turn out to be “very costly” in the Premier League title race.

Roughly three and a half hours after Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar had struck to earn Everton a point from a staggering 4-4 draw at Manchester United on Sunday, Manchester City secured a victory at Wolves that cut the gap between the two sides to three points.

As City has a superior goal difference, the maths are clear heading into the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on April 30.

Lose, and United also lose control of their own destiny with just two games of the campaign remaining.

“It could be costly,” said Ferguson. “We’ve thrown a game away that we should be coasting. It was terrible defending and a lack of concentration from us.”

Mancini maintains United still favourites

Roberto Mancini insists Manchester United are still Barclays Premier League title favourites despite his Manchester City side closing the gap on the leaders to three points ahead of next Monday’s derby.

United were held to a 4-4 draw by Everton at Old Trafford, after leading 3-1 and 4-2, while City took advantage of their slip-up by winning 2-0 at Wolves to doom them to relegation.

But Mancini remains adamant the title is “not in our hands” even though City would almost certainly finish top if they win their remaining three games given their superior goal difference.

He said: “We have another chance but United have a bigger chance than us at this moment (to win the title). We have three difficult games against United, Newcastle and QPR. Newcastle are fighting for the Champions League and QPR are fighting to avoid relegation.

“After the derby, United have two games which are not easy, but not difficult like us (against Swansea and Sunderland). Only one team can win this title. It’s not in our hands. We have three points less.

“In any case, you all wrote the title race was finished. Seven days ago, the race was finished. You wrote it. Therefore I congratulate Sir Alex Ferguson on a good season.”

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