Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has claimed Manchester City did not deserve to win the Premier League title, but were handed it by Sir Alex Ferguson's men who blew an eight-point lead over their rivals.
In the tightest title race since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, United were just seconds away from being crowned champions, until Sergio Aguero’s winning strike against QPR just 30 seconds from time saw the title head to the blue half of Manchester for the first time since 1968.
|FERGUSON & GIGGS WIN AWARDS
|Manchester United duo named greatest player & manager in Premier League history
Despite trailing their rivals for much of the season, Evra believes his side should have retained their title and is disappointed to have relinquished it to their neighbours.
"I always say when someone is champions they deserve it," Evra told reporters. "But I can say to myself that we gave the title to City.
"It was just the last 30 seconds [on the final day] that made City champions.
"The reality is that with six games to go we were eight points in front and for Manchester United not to finish the job makes me really disappointed."
Despite defeat to their city rivals, Evra remains optimistic over his side’s chances next season. Indeed the Frenchman believes if United play anywhere near their best football next season then they will win the title at a canter.
"We received a lot of criticism this season, but we got nine points more than last season," he added.
"City played their best football. We didn't always play our best football but we still finished on the same points, so it makes you think that if we play our best football consistently throughout the season, then we're going to win the league by many points.
"That is why I'm confident [that we will win it back] next year."
|UNITED TO BOUNCE BACK?
|2/1||Manchester United are 2/1 to win the 2012-13 Premier League with sportingbet|
The Frenchman believes one of the major contributing factors to United’s downfall has been injuries and Evra has pinpointed the absence of club captain Vidic as a massive reason for his team’s demise.
"I don't like to make excuses, but we suffered so many injuries," he continued.
"It was one of the most difficult seasons we've had at Manchester United.
"We made a Champions League exit very early and we lost players like Nemanja - imagine if Vincent Kompany was missing all the season for City? I played centre-back with Michael Carrick in some of the games.
"But I have to say thanks to the lads, because we fought until the end and I know it's not easy to finish the season without a trophy. That is a fact.
"But we gave everything and we were winning the league until 30 seconds from the end of the season. I know people will say that United players should not say this, but it's true.
"This year was so difficult and I'm very sad for all my team-mates. They deserve better than that."