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Sir Alex Ferguson has delivered a hammer blow to Arsenal's title hopes but the Manchester United Manager believes Arsene Wenger's side can do his team a favour at Chelsea next weekend.
Ferguson was rewarded for an inspired team selection as England forward Wayne Rooney and Portugal winger Nani took advantage of the United manager's tactics to inspire a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The champions' impressive victory moved them to within one point of Premier League leaders Chelsea, although Carlo Ancelotti's men can re-establish a four-point advantage today if they win their game in hand at Hull.
Ferguson is confident United have the experience and desire to overhaul the Blues, but he has no qualms about admitting he would love to see Arsenal win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
"The run-in is always a difficult period. We have handled it over the years and I am trusting them to handle it again," Ferguson said. "We hope Chelsea drop points obviously and they will be saying the same about ourselves.
"Arsenal are not out of it and I hope they go to Stamford Bridge next Sunday and batter them. I hope they can get some points off them," he said.
Judging by Arsenal's tame surrender against United - a lacklustre performance which echoed the Gunners' 3-0 home defeat against Chelsea in November - Ferguson shouldn't invest too much hope in Arsenal tripping up their London rivals.
While Ferguson showered praise on his stars, Wenger was unusually acerbic when asked to assess Arsenal's latest let down against a title rival.
Wenger, whose side were beaten for the first time in 11 league games, knows Chelsea could be eight points ahead of Arsenal before kick-off next weekend and he conceded it will take a major effort to fully recover from such a dispiriting defeat.
"Next Sunday we have to deliver a better performance before we think about winning the game," he said. "We have to focus completely on delivering a different performance.
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