United’s 2-0 success means they will go into the last day trailing City on goal difference, which they have no chance of clawing back when they visit Sunderland.
Instead, the Red Devils are relying on old boy Mark Hughes to do them a favour by claiming the point QPR need at the Etihad Stadium to secure their top flight survival.
It looks like an impossible task. However, it only takes a reminder of the fate of the Queen Mother’s horse in the 1956 Grand National to realise sometimes unexpected mishaps do occur.
“There could be a Devon Loch. You never know,” said Ferguson, after seeing his side collect three points thanks to first-half goals from Paul Scholes and Ashley Young.
“Stranger things have happened in this game of football. They’re red-hot favourites but we’ve won the title on three occasions on the last day and we don’t mind doing it again.”