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Sitting Pretty

ALEX Ferguson is sitting pretty while all around him bitter rivals fall asunder and big names mutiny.

Victory tonight over Blackburn will put Manchester United five points in front in the Premier League title race -- and another win over QPR next Sunday would give Ferguson (above) an eight-point cushion.

"If we go eight points behind, then it is finished," admitted Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

To add to Mancini's problems, Mario Balotelli (right) squared up to Yaya Toure in the home dressing room after Saturday's 3-3 draw with Sunderland and Sergio Aguerro nursed a blistered foot caused by the City medical team.

And to put icing on top of Ferguson's weekend, Kenny Dalglish was subjected to a foul-mouthed tirade from Andy Carroll (left) when the striker was substituted late in Liverpool's 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United.

Under-pressure Dalgish was afterwards forced to defend Carroll's petulant outburst, as well as goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who was sent off after aiming a headbutt at Newcastle defender Jason Perch.