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Alex Ferguson ready for United, City title slog

Published on Nov 29, 2012 8:59 AM
Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson walks from the pitch after his team's 1-0 win over West Ham in their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Wednesday Nov 28, 2012. -- PHOTO : AP

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) - Alex Ferguson predicts a long, hard Premier League title race with champions Manchester City after his Manchester United team opened up a seven-point gap over rivals Chelsea.

Table-toppers United ground out a 1-0 victory over West Ham at Old Trafford thanks to Robin van Persie scoring the fastest goal of the Premier League season to date, after only 33 seconds.

It was only the third clean sheet United have kept in domestic football this season and ended a worrying trend of the team having conceded first in nine of their opening 13 league games. And while it was a far from vintage performance, it was a vital one given that City's victory at Wigan kept the defending champions just one point behind.

"The three points means we're still ahead in the league and, with Chelsea drawing, it draws us away from them a little bit further," said veteran United manager Ferguson. "But City are on our tails. It's going to be a long season.

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