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Ferguson says Man City has 'hands on the trophy'

Published:Tuesday | May 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM

LONDON (AP):

Only a most unlikely turnaround can prevent Manchester City from beating Manchester United to the English Premier League title.

"They probably have two hands on the trophy,'' United manager Alex Ferguson said.

City's 2-0 win at Champions League hopeful Newcastle means the league leaders effectively need only to beat relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers in Sunday's finale to win their first championship since 1968.

City have won 17 of 18 home games and QPR have won just three of 18 road games, so it's obvious why bookmakers make the Blues a 1-9 favourite to hoist the trophy.

If City win, United will need to at least match their 17-year-old Premier League record 9-0 victory against Ipswich to overturn City's superior goal difference.

Neither scenario is likely, even with QPR needing a point to be sure of avoiding relegation.

Ferguson said a collapse by City would rank alongside that of one of the most infamous losers in British sporting history.

Devon Loch was 40 yards from the winning post in horse racing's 1956 British Grand National when he collapsed, seemingly without reason.