Giggs: Games against City cost Manchester United the title

The 39-year-old has admitted that the two defeats to their neighbours last season were crucial to outcome of the league, but remains confident of beating Roberto Mancini's side
Ryan Giggs believes the two defeats to Manchester City last season cost Manchester United the Premier League title, but insists his team can still beat their rivals to the crown this year.

The first Manchester derby of the season takes place at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with the Red Devils losing 1-0 in the same fixture last term.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men also suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford to their bitter rivals, and Giggs says that that despite their poor record against their neighbours of late, they can win the game on Sunday.

"The two games against them were the difference last season," the 39-year-old told reporters. "Hopefully we can get the right result and that will be the difference come the end of this season."

There is a case that the Manchester derby is now the biggest game on the English calendar, yet Giggs has played down the rivalry with their neighbours, stating that he feels their clashes with Liverpool have been the biggest over his career.

"It doesn't mean anything extra because it is City," the Welshman continued. "There are different rivalries. Liverpool has always been the biggest rival for me. It has always been the biggest test.

"Arsenal were a brilliant team and we had some ferocious battles with them. Chelsea were also a brilliant team under [Jose] Mourinho and now City are a good team as well.

"The added dynamic is that they are on our doorstep. But we still want to win the league no matter who we are competing against.

"We have found over the last couple of years that the derby, with the money City have spent and the quality they have brought in, has got bigger and bigger."

Critics have been plentiful for Manchester United's defence this season. Sir Alex Ferguson's side have conceded 32 goals during their opening 22 games in all competitions - their worst record at this stage in over a decade.

Giggs admits that he is frustrated that they are not achieving their best, but despite the negative press he believes the side "must be doing something right" to remain at the top of the Premier League.

Giggs added: "We are in a good position in the league but haven't hit the form we did in parts last season.

"That can be frustrating because we want perfection.

"We want to be the best team and each individual wants to be the best player.

"We must be doing something right because we are in a good position and there is the belief we can score goals.

"But that doesn't mean we should neglect our defending and not try and stop the goals we are leaking because we need to stop conceding them."