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Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Sunday, 9 May 2010 19:34 UK

Ferguson pledges to win back Premier League title

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson was dignified in his praise for Chelsea after his team lost their title

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson vowed to win back the Premier League title next season after his side finished runners-up to Chelsea.

United defeated Stoke 4-0 on the final day of the campaign but Chelsea thrashed Wigan 8-0 to deny Ferguson's team a record fourth successive title.

"Next year hopefully we can bring back the title to the best place in the world," said Ferguson.

"But now we must congratulate Carlo Ancelotti and his Chelsea team."

United needed to defeat Stoke and Chelsea to slip up if they were to retain their Premier League title.

Darren Fletcher, Giggs and Park Ji-Sung scored for United, while Danny Higginbotham added an own goal as Ferguson's team made light work of their task, but Chelsea scored an early goal at Stamford Bridge and went on to demolish the Latics and finish one point ahead.

"It is a terrific achievement to beat Manchester United [to the title]," added Ferguson of Chelsea's first Premier League triumph since 2006.

It was a weird season, we lost games that we did not expect to and so did other teams

Ryan Giggs

"If at the start of the season someone had said the title race would have been taken to the wire we would have been happy knowing that most times we win but not this time.

"When we heard that Wigan had gone down to 10 men, hope evaporated then.

"The players and supporters are always magnificent and they have been again. I think they can be proud of the challenge for a fourth title in a row.

"I am not going to agonise about where it went wrong. Sometimes you get the breaks, on other occasions you don't."

United ended the season with only the Carling Cup to show for their efforts, having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Leeds and losing to Bayern Munich over two legs in their Champions League quarter-final tie.

"The biggest disappointment is the tie against Bayern Munich," said the Scot.

"We deserved to go through and we should be [playing in the final] in Madrid."

Ferguson hinted that he would be looking to strengthen his squad the summer, adding: "We have got ideas. We are looking at the structure of the club.

"There may be one or two things but at the moment nothing is signed. We have a good squad but we have to do one or two things."

Ferguson's team lost seven games during the Premier League season, while Chelsea were defeated on six occasions.

"It was a weird season," said United veteran Ryan Giggs, who scored his team's second goal against Stoke with a precise first-time finish.

"We lost games that we did not expect to and so did other teams. The quality has been better and we have to up our game next year if we want to contend again.

simon phillips

"We will do that and the manager will look at what he needs to do over the summer."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis had no complaints about the result and afterwards suggested Ferguson will be extra motivated next season to regain the Premier League title.

"Manchester United is one of the greatest clubs in the world," said the Potters boss.

"They have got the greatest manager in English football and he will be even more determined next year."

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 9 May 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 38 71 86
2 Man Utd 38 58 85
3 Arsenal 38 42 75
4 Tottenham 38 26 70
5 Man City 38 28 67
6 Aston Villa 38 13 64
7 Liverpool 38 26 63
8 Everton 38 11 61
9 Birmingham 38 -9 50
10 Blackburn 38 -14 50
11 Stoke 38 -14 47
12 Fulham 38 -7 46
13 Sunderland 38 -8 44
14 Bolton 38 -25 39
15 Wolves 38 -24 38
16 Wigan 38 -42 36
17 West Ham 38 -19 35
18 Burnley 38 -40 30
19 Hull 38 -41 30
20 Portsmouth 38 -32 19

see also
Man Utd fans set off a smoke bomb
09 May 10 |  Manchester
Man Utd 4-0 Stoke City
09 May 10 |  Premier League
Premier League photos
09 May 10 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
09 May 10 |  Football
Man Utd 3-2 Bayern M (agg 4-4)
07 Apr 10 |  Europe
Manchester Utd 0-1 Leeds United
04 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
Aston Villa 1-2 Man Utd
28 Feb 10 |  League Cup

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