Sir Alex Ferguson ignited the war of words against bitter rivals Manchester City ahead of their Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Ferguson has hit out at City and all of their penalty kick calls that they have received over the past three seasons.
"The number of penalty kicks they get, 21 in the last year or something like that," Ferguson said. "If we got that number of penalty kicks there'd be an inquiry in the House of Commons. There'd be a protest."
City manager Roberto Mancini was not too bothered by the comments however, even pointing out a statistic that Manchester United have had the same penalty kicks in the same amount of time. Opposing managers for the title have had to deal, and even match, Ferguson's ability to get into the heads of his counterparts and derail their trophy challenges. Mancini admits Ferguson is good at mind games and is sure the comments were made to try and throw City off of their game plan.
"I think four or five times in the last 10 games [last season] and then [Ferguson] didn't say anything, but this can happen," Mancini said. "Fergie is clever for this. I think in the last 15 years there have been some penalties for them. Not a lot, but two or three in the last 15 years".
Mancini's comments may have been tongue in cheek but both teams will be out for blood on Sunday. United are three points ahead of City and a win for either team would greatly alter their title ambitions. City beat United 1-0 when the two sides met at the Etihad Stadium last season and also handed the Red Devils a 6-1 mauling at Old Trafford. With City also beating United to the Premier League title on goal difference last season, Ferguson and his charges will be desperate to get a positive result on Sunday.
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