Man Utd were fortunate to escape the derby without more of a humbling defeat, says Gary Owen.
Last Updated: 01/05/12 3:48pm
Manchester United were fortunate to escape from the Etihad Stadium without more of a humbling defeat, according to former City midfielder Gary Owen.
United failed to fire a shot on target throughout the entire game as City hit the front in the title race with a 1-0 victory over their rivals in the Manchester derby.
Owen pointed to Sir Alex Ferguson's conservative team selection as setting the tone for the match in which City dominated, with Vincent Kompany heading the winning goal.
"The 1-0 scoreline flattered United because I think we (City) were better than a 1-0," he told Sky Sports News.
"Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott were immense but take nothing away from Pablo Zabaleta, who has kept out a fantastic Micah Richards this season, and Gael Clichy is getting stronger and stronger.
"In every department I thought we were superior last night."
Many pundits cited the experience of Sir Alex Ferguson as a potentially decisive factor ahead of the game but on the night Roberto Mancini clearly riled his rival with the two clashing on the sidelines.
And Owen believes that the Italian got the better of the Scot even before the teams took to the pitch, suggesting Ferguson's team selection was a major reason for the result.
Owen added: "It takes a lot to get Sir Alex Ferguson rattled but he was definitely rattled. I think he felt Roberto Mancini was in the ear of the fourth official.
"I think United were rattled from start to finish. For me the selection that was there from the start gave us a boost. United looked to not lose the game and we picked a team that wanted to win the game."
With two games remaining and only goal difference separating the sides, Owen insists the title race is far from over despite City possessing the stronger squad.
"Of course we want to beat them for our fans, because our fans have had it too hard for too long, especially in meetings with United," he said.
"United have always had the superior players. I think this season we have the best squad in the country and the best team in the country. Now we have just got to prove it in the last few games but the season is far from over."
Owen reserved particular praise for the skipper and goalscorer, suggesting that Kompany has eclipsed his team-mates as City's player of the season.
"Vincent, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well, has been a gentleman and you can see that when he does his interviews," he said.
"He is blue through and through, he knows what this club wants to achieve, he wants to be part of it and I think he was a great selection by the club when they made Vincent captain because he epitomises everything that a captain should be.
"And not just on the pitch where I do believe he is probably going to pip everybody for the player of the season award, which is really difficult when you think of the early season form of David Silva, Sergio Aguero's 29 goals already this season and Joe Hart, who has been immense.
"There have been captains all through the side and that is what you need if you are going to be challenging and hopefully winning the Premier League."