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Man Utd title hopes dealt a blow - Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson's team failed to make their pressure tell

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said his side face an uphill task to retain their Premier League title after drawing at Blackburn.

United spurned several good chances to score in the goalless game and are now one point behind leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

"It's a blow, there's no question about it. It makes it really difficult to win the league now," stated Ferguson.

"That is a fantastic result for Chelsea. It has slipped away from us."

He added: "We have a lifeline if Chelsea blow it.

"But to my eyes they have an easy game against Bolton on Tuesday. We would expect them to win that and it will put them four points clear."

Without the injured 34-goal striker Wayne Rooney, Ferguson gave Frederico Macheda his first start of the season up front with Dimitar Berbatov.

However, the 18-year-old Italian, who scored crucial goals in United's title run-in last season, was largely ineffective and was replaced in the 65th minute by Park Ji-Sung.

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Berbatov, meanwhile, endured a frustrating afternoon in the face of a stubborn Rovers rearguard and was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance inside the area with 10 minutes remaining.

However, it was winger Antonio Valencia's first-half miss that irked Ferguson the most.

The Ecuadorian broke through the Blackburn defence just before the break but shot straight at goalkeeper Paul Robinson when a relatively simple angled finish was required.

"Valencia should have scored," said Ferguson. "It was a golden chance and at a good time, five minutes before half-time.

"We had the chances in the game. We dominated possession but you have to create those chances and take them.

"It's always a difficult place to come to for anyone. We should have done better."

Title out of our hands - Phelan

The draw at Ewood Park completed a miserable week for United, who crashed out of the Champions League to Bayern Munich on away goals after a 3-2 victory over the Germans in the second leg at Old Trafford proved insufficient.

Ferguson must now lift his team for Saturday's Manchester derby at Eastlands before they face another tricky Premier League encounter at home to Tottenham, who are still chasing fourth place.

United then travel to Sunderland before hosting Stoke in the final game of their season

Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea, who advanced to the FA Cup final with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley on Saturday, resume their title bid at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

They face a London derby at Spurs on 17 April, also entertain Stoke a week later, and then face possibly the sternest test of their title ambitions at Liverpool on 1 May.

Chelsea's final league game is against relegation-threatened Wigan at Stamford Bridge on 9 May.



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see also
Blackburn 0-0 Man Utd
11 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
11 Apr 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
11 Apr 10 |  Football
Ferguson 'still trusts' Berbatov
09 Apr 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd to sign striker Hernandez
08 Apr 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 3-2 Bayern M (agg 4-4)
07 Apr 10 |  Europe
Man Utd 1-2 Chelsea
03 Apr 10 |  Premier League


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