Manchester United late goals typical - Sir Alex Ferguson

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said his side's late surge to beat Blackburn was typical of Manchester United's resolve.

United looked set for a frustrating draw at Ewood Park before Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young struck inside the final 10 minutes to open up a five-point lead over Manchester City.

Ferguson said: "It was a long night. We had to persevere and in the end we got our rewards for it.

"The goals came so late, which typifies the history of the club."

If United beat Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford in their next match, rivals City will kick off their away game at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon eight points adrift.

TITLE RUN-IN

Man Utd Man City

QPR (h)

8 Apr

Arsenal (a)

Wigan (a)

11 Apr

West Brom (h)

Aston Villa (h)

15/14 Apr

Norwich (a)

Everton (h)

22 Apr

Wolves (a)

Man City (a)

30 Apr

Man Utd (h)

Swansea (h)

6 May

Newcastle (a)

Sun'land (a)

13 May

QPR (h)

But Ferguson - who has already won 12 Premier League titles - does not believe the title race is over.

He said: "There are seven games left and my experience is that it doesn't matter what points you have, it's just about the next game.

"It doesn't matter if it is next Sunday, next Wednesday, the Sunday after that - they are all big ones.

"The players are prepared for that. We will fight right to the end in all the games for the right to win the matches."

For all their possession, United were still indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea when he tipped over Marcus Olsson's fine strike at the end of the first half, and then saved Grant Hanley's header from the following corner.

Former City manager tips United

The Spaniard had been at fault during Blackburn's win at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve and was subsequently dropped, but has been much improved since he returned to the side and won praise from Ferguson.

"De Gea's progress is obvious, everyone can see that," Ferguson said.

"He made three great first-half saves. David kept us in the game.

"He's growing in stature and confidence. We've always known he had great ability.

"We had Blackburn under the cosh but they were dangerous on the break."