independent

Friday 18 April 2014

We won title in right way, says Rio Ferdinand with thinly veiled dig at City

RIO FERDINAND believes Manchester United's title cruise compares favourably with the last-ditch manner of Manchester City's triumph last season.

United wrapped up their 20th championship with four games to spare thanks to last night's 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

It ended City's brief reign as England's top dogs, and helped the Red Devils erase the memory of what happened 12 months previously, when Sergio Aguero's injury-time effort won the Premier League for City seconds after United had concluded their own campaign.

There has been nothing like the thrills this time around, with United establishing a comfortable advantage on the back of a series of key victories away from Old Trafford.

And Ferdinand is relishing the ease with which dominance has been re-established.

"It's always sweet when you win the title and it's nice to do it here, in the right way and in style, not on goal difference," said Ferdinand.

"We have won it outright and we have won it comfortably."

There were some who felt United might struggle to recover from the trauma they suffered last season, especially given the finance available to City boss Roberto Mancini.

But those doubters reckoned without the extreme determination within the Old Trafford camp, and the focus derived from Sir Alex Ferguson, who has now won an incredible 13 championships, the same number as Arsenal have managed in their entire history.

"It just shows the resilience and attitude the manager has instilled in us," said Ferdinand.

"A lot of teams would probably have fallen away.

"We played Liverpool a couple of seasons ago when they were fighting for the title, we beat them and got to the league before them and they've not been seen since.

"That shows the mentality and character that this club has."

It is too simplistic to say Robin van Persie has made the difference.

There is no doubting the impact last night's hat-trick hero has had at Old Trafford though.

And with Luis Suarez out of contention, it now seems certain the Dutchman will become the first player to win back-to-back Golden Boot awards since Thierry Henry.

"Robin has been a big factor," said Ferdinand.

"Last season, we lost on goal difference which tells you that we didn't score enough goals.

"We brought in a man who was top scorer last season and he looks like he is going to do that again this season.

"He has definitely added to what we had already."

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