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As the final whistle blew at the Stadium of Light, United’s fans stood, nervously waiting for confirmation of City’s failure to beat QPR.

Incredibly, that expectation soured in minutes.

“We’ve had so many injuries this season and we have coped with that really well,” Ferguson said. “We’ve a lot of young players. They’ll be around in five, six, seven, 10 years time at Manchester United. The experience is good for them, even if it’s a bad one.”