Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says rivals Manchester City are in the driving seat to clinch the Premier League title following United's 1-0 defeat at Etihad Stadium.
Vincent Kompany scored the winner just before half-time to send City top of the table on goal difference.
"It was a damaging result," said Ferguson. "They are in the driving seat and we are up against it.
"They only need to win two more games and they win the league."
City's win takes them level with United on points but above their fierce rivals courtesy of a better goal difference.
With two games remaining, Roberto Mancini's side are now favourites to lift the title after closing a gap that was as wide as eight points at the start of April.
This is as a result of United losing twice in their last four fixtures - at City and 1-0 at Wigan - and throwing away a 4-2 lead over Everton to draw 4-4 at Old Trafford.
"You can look back at all sorts of games but you've got to look at the Everton one," said Ferguson.
"That was a ridiculous performance for the last seven minutes to lose two goals. That's maybe cost us the league."
As United have been faltering, City have been registering impressive victories at home to West Brom (4-0) and away against Norwich (6-1) and Wolves (2-0).
Ferguson admitted his side had not been at their best on Monday and that City deserved their win, given to them by Kompany's powerful header from a David Silva corner in first-half injury time.
"We didn't test their goalkeeper enough," he said. "We started quite brightly and for 15 minutes our possession of the ball was good, but the longer the half went on I thought we were looking for half-time."
The Scot was also unhappy to see his side concede from a set-piece - compounded by the bad timing of the goal.
"I'm very annoyed to concede from a set-piece," he added. "At this level of football you can't do that.
"It was a bad time to lose the goal. After that they [City] just sat and played on the counter-attack. But I can't complain about the result."
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