Man United eye record-equaling title win at home

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Manchester United only need a point on Saturday to finally match Liverpool's record haul of 18 English league titles.

Updated: May 15, 2009 11:23 IST
  • Total Shares


While Manchester United only need a point on Saturday to finally match Liverpool's record haul of 18 English league titles, Arsenal have a point to prove in the penultimate round of the Premier League season.

The Gunners, who haven't won the league for five years, will have an already disappointing season compounded if they hand the title to Man United at Old Trafford, where they clinched the championship in 2002.

United manager Alex Ferguson is wary of Arsenal crashing the party at home and leaving United to earn that point next weekend away against a Hull side battling relegation _ and just three days before the Champions League final against Barcelona.

"What we want to try and do is win the league tomorrow, the European Cup final is 10 days away after tomorrow," Ferguson said on Friday. "We've got to concentrate on winning the league and, by doing that, we have to achieve that the best way. That's our way.

"A point is always a dangerous game to play, thinking that a draw is enough. We have to go for a win."

United captain Rio Ferdinand is urging his teammates not to be complacent despite overwhelming Arsenal in the Champions League semifinals with a 4-1 aggregate win.

"Our performances in both legs of the semifinal were two of the best of the season," said the England center back, who will be sidelined on Saturday with calf problems. "But it can sometimes be a dangerous situation when you beat a team fairly convincingly and play them again soon after, because they'll probably feel they have something to prove.

"We can't allow them to do that and must focus on getting the result we want to win the title."

While Arsenal were once United's main title adversary, Liverpool are now the greater threat after pushing them hard all season.

Ferguson can win an 11th Premier League title on Saturday. But before he delivered United's first league title for 26 years _ in 1993 _ the head-to-head record with Liverpool stood at 18-7 and the Scot never envisaged such a reversal of dominance.

"My intention was to win the first one and try and break the stranglehold Liverpool had on the title at that time," said Ferguson, who took charge in 1986. "You don't think about that opening the door for you, but that was the big challenge to win it once."

Trailing United by six points in the title race, Liverpool's slim hopes rest on United losing to Arsenal and Hull and it beating West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham to edge the Red Devils on superior goal difference.

For Arsenal, the mission is about building for the future. Arsene Wenger's team can only finish fourth in the standings, forcing the Gunners to play a qualifying match early in the season to get into the group stage of the Champions League.

"Arsenal will want to do well because they've been under a bit of criticism recently ... (and) register their abilities on a day when everyone expects United to win the title," Ferguson said. "They are a good side with great potential in the team and you can't dismiss it.

"In fairness to the criticism about Arsenal, they have had some injuries and you can't get best results when the best players are injured. I'm afraid it's a fact."

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Football
  • Bayern München

Leave a comment