Money has given City the edge
IT'S Manchester City's championship title to lose.
The English Premier League leaders are at home on the final day of the season this Sunday against Queens Park Rangers, who are fourth from the bottom of the 20-team league.
Victory would ensure City their first title in 44 years. They have the same points as crosstown rivals Manchester United (86), but goal difference favours Roberto Mancini's team.
More than goal difference, however, is the potent momentum that City bring to the final day that makes them odds-on favourites. Yaya Toure's powerful drives in the midfield and Vincent Kompany's rock-like defence are two symbols of a team that is cooking on gas.
To counter the champions-in-waiting, Manchester United would need to thrash Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to stand a chance of retaining their crown. As prolific as United have been on occasion, it's unlikely that they will eliminate the eight-goal deficit that exists between themselves and City.
So it seems the champions of 1968 are about to be crowned again, even though Toure, for one, is taking nothing for granted.
There is still work to be done, the big Ivorian warned this week.
"It's not finished," he said.
"We have to be careful as QPR are fighting to stay in the Premier League.
"It's brilliant for us, though."
But he remains determined about winning. "I came to City to make history. I want to win it for our fans." Continuing on the theme of history, Toure added: "Forty-four years is unbelievable.
"It is too many years."
The difference between 1968 and today is money. City's abundance of it and United's lack of it.
While United are still paying interest on debt incurred in the 2005 takeover by the Glazer family, City have spent about £400m (R5.1bn) on new players since being bought by Sheik Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, in 2008.
"No one can match their financial resources. No one," said Ferguson. "We have to accept that and try to do things in a different way."
But on Sunday it might be money that counts. Money well spent on good players.