Patrick Vieira has sparked round two in the war of words between Manchester City and Manchester United by claiming that the Premier League champions benefit from an unfair advantage handed to them by referees.

The comments come following The Red Devils' home win against Fulham on Monday when the visitors were denied a penalty late on.

"When United play at home they get some advantage that other teams don't get," Viera told the BBC.

"I think when you go to United, Madrid, Barcelona, or Milan, when the referees referee these kind of games, it's always difficult to go against these kind of teams.

"This is the way it is. It's something the teams who are used to winning get all the time, so we need to win games so we have this advantage in the future."

The former Arsenal midfielder has already passed comment on Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to bring back Paul Scholes and seems intent on provoking a reaction from the Scot.

Roberto Mancini's men are three points adrift of leaders United after a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Stoke on Saturday.

City have won every home game so far this season in search of their first Premier League title but a dip in away form through March - dropping eight points - has been costly.

"Since the start of the season we've been the best team and played the best football," the Frenchman concluded. "I believe the club deserves it."

The rivalry between the pair is likely to come to a head on April 30, when the two sides face-off at the Etihad Stadium with the destination of the title likely to be dictated by the result.

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