Hodgson Backs United For Title

23 March 2009 09:09
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson insists Manchester United are favourites to retain the Premier League title despite their back-to-back defeats.[LNB]Following last weekend's 4-1 loss to bitter rivals Liverpool, United were sunk 2-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday.[LNB]And Rafael Benitez's side are now breathing down United's necks following their 5-0 thrashing of Aston Villa yesterday, which cut the gap at the top to one point - although the leaders have a game in hand.[LNB]However, Hodgson declared: "United are such a good team with so many good players, I still think they are favourites for the championship this year - but the last two defeats have given the teams chasing them that little bit more hope."[LNB]Fulham were rampant in the first half, taking the lead through Danny Murphy's penalty after Paul Scholes had been sent off for deliberate handball.[LNB]And they soaked up all United's pressure after the break before Zoltan Gera hit them with a sucker punch. The champions then finished with nine men as Wayne Rooney picked up two yellow cards.[LNB]Hodgson felt his side were well worth the points, adding: "Our first-half performance was quite outstanding. I didn't think we played quite as well in the second half. But we worked and fought hard."[LNB]United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledged his team were not good enough.[LNB]"In the first half we never got started," he said.[LNB]"They were lively and got stuck in and we respect that - they lost 4-0 to us a couple of weeks ago. But it's disappointing we didn't meet the challenge."[LNB]

Source: Eurosport