By Ian Whittell ,AFP
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to write off a challenge from London at the top of the Premier League in 2012 despite the dominance of Manchester’s rival pace-setters. A strong first half to the season from Manchester United and current league leaders City has left many pundits predicting that the eventual champions will come from Manchester. However, although third-placed Tottenham are currently seven points behind Ferguson’s second-placed team, Harry Redknapp’s club has the luxury of a game in hand and history has taught the veteran United manager that challenges to their title could come from a variety of sources in the new year. “At this moment in time, everyone thinks it will be one and two for the city,” said Ferguson. “But come March, things change and you need to go back over the years to see how dramatic it can be.
“We surrendered an 11 point lead to Arsenal and we managed to claw back a 12 point deficit to Newcastle and last year Chelsea were 10 points clear in November and they lost it.
“You lose a game in this league and all the rest get a pick up and start chasing harder. That’s the way the league is and come March, you never know.” United bounced back superbly in midweek, winning 5-0 at Fulham, to respond to the critics who had a field day after the defending Premier League champions were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League by Swiss club Basel.