Fergie ready to down Gunners

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had a feeling his side might drop points at Middlesbrough, but is now ready to end Arsenal's title hopes.

Boro stunned United last weekend as Afonso Alves struck his first goals for the club to claim a 2-2 draw against the Premier League champions.

Ferguson's side tackle Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday - live on Sky Sports 1 - looking to broaden the gap between them and The Gunners to nine points.

Anything but a win for Arsene Wenger's men would all-but end their faint hopes of overhauling their rivals.

And Ferguson has set his sights on claiming a vital scalp over their opponents as his side edges closer to retaining their crown.

"Yes [a win for us] makes it difficult for them. No question," he said on Sky Sports News. "Five games to go is not a lot of leeway for them. They can't afford to drop any points.

"But that doesn't make it any different for us in our preparations for an Arsenal game because they are always very competitive games anyway."

On the draw at the Riverside, he said: "I had a fear about that one. Middlesbrough always raise their game against big teams and I was half-prepared for that (to drop points).

"But the games coming up now are the games we expect to do well in."

Ferguson was at Anfield on Tuesday to witness the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg between Arsenal and Liverpool.

And the Scot admits the match, which The Reds won 4-2, was enthralling viewing.

He added: "I was at the Liverpool v Arsenal game, and it was absolutely fantastic. It seesawed, it had everything. It was amazing, an incredible game of football."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 11 April 2008