Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says the Premier League title race is far from over despite seeing his side move 15 points clear of Manchester City after a 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers. With 11 games remaining, and City due to face third-place Chelsea today, Ferguson's side are in a dominant position, but the manager refused to declare his side champions-elect.
"We're in a better position today (Saturday) than we were yesterday," he said. "It's one game less and it's really important and the way we can approach it is by winning the next game and then trying to win the next game and seeing where it takes us."
Brazilian full-back Rafael set United on course for victory at QPR with an outstanding opening goal before Ryan Giggs marked his 999th appearance in senior football with the second goal ten minutes from time. Ferguson praised the contribution of Rafael who is emerging as a key figure in the league leaders' line-up.
"He has three goals for us this season. The lad has had an absolutely magnificent season and is maturing all the time," Ferguson said. "Ryan's got a good record of scoring here," he added. "This is maybe his fourth goal here. It was a crucial time because anything can happen with 10 minutes left -- it only takes a second to score a goal.
"David de Gea made a great save from (Loic) Remy maybe ten minutes before that but Ryan's goal put it to bed nicely."
United's top scorer Robin van Persie suffered an injury scare at Loftus Road but Ferguson hopes it will not keep the striker out of the club's forthcoming UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Van Persie was forced out of the game in the 41st minute after falling into a television camera pit located behind one of the goals in the build-up to Rafael's opener.
The forward suffered a bruised hip but Ferguson is confident he will recover in time for the visit of Jose Mourinho's side to Old Trafford on March 5. With the last-16 tie delicately balanced following the 1-1 first-leg draw in Spain, Van Persie's absence would be a major blow to United's plans.
"He collided with a camera in a sort of a dug-out piece of ground. He collided with the base of that, which has given him a sore hip," said Ferguson. "I would imagine he will be very tender and sore for a few days but hopefully he will be all right, particularly for the Real Madrid game."