Sir Alex Ferguson admitted the Barclays Premier League title was slipping away from Manchester United following Sunday afternoon's goalless draw at Blackburn.
United remain a point adrift of Chelsea, having played a game more than the Stamford Bridge outfit, and with just four matches to do something about it. To make matters worse, Rio Ferdinand picked up a groin injury, Ryan Giggs was forced off with a hamstring strain and John O'Shea also left the field early as he started for the first time since November.
"It was a bad result. We had to win every game going into this one and we didn't do it. That is the disappointment," said Ferguson.
"It has slipped away from us here. It is going to be very difficult to win this league. We have a lifeline if Chelsea blow it.
"But to my eyes they have an easy game against Bolton on Tuesday. We would expect them to win that and it will put them four points clear."
Ferdinand had already been in the wars, dislocating his finger in a collision with Martin Olsson.
But it was the groin injury he sustained near the end that will worry Ferguson more, and probably Fabio Capello as well as the World Cup starts to loom into view.
"Rio dislocated his finger but ended up with a groin injury," said Ferguson.
"We effectively had 10 men on the pitch at the end, which is not good when you are chasing a victory."
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