• 'We did it the right way, not on goal difference'
• Robin van Persie was major factor, Ferdinand adds
Rio Ferdinand has aimed a barb at Manchester City, the dethroned champions, by saying that Manchester United's title triumph is more credible as it was won on points rather than goal difference.
United have a 16-point lead over City, with four matches remaining of their season and Ferdinand said: "It's always sweet when you win the title and it's nice to do it in the right way and in style, not on goal difference. We have won it outright and we have won it comfortably."
City snatched the title on goal difference with a late Sergio Agüero goal on the season's final day last May and Ferdinand is proud of how United have bounced back. "It just shows the resilience and attitude the manager has instilled in us. A lot of teams would probably have fallen away," he said. "We played Liverpool a couple of seasons ago when they were fighting for the title, we beat them and got to the league before them and they've not been seen since. That shows the mentality and character that this club has."
Robin van Persie scored all three goals in the victory over Aston Villa and Ferdinand added of the striker who arrived last summer as the Premier League's top scorer: "Robin has been a big factor. Last season we lost on goal difference, which tells you that we didn't score enough goals. We brought in a man who was top scorer last season and he looks like he is going to do that again this season. He has definitely added to what we had already."