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Focus on Manchester clubs

sports Updated: May 14, 2011 00:33 IST

Agencies
Highlight Story

Manchester City will attempt to end 35 years of failure on Saturday when they face Stoke in an FA Cup final which threatens to be upstaged by Manchester United's record 19th league title.

Wembley's hosting of the May 28 Champions League final means that for the first time, English football's traditional end-of-season showpiece is taking place alongside a round of Premier League fixtures.

The nightmare scheduling scenario has left City's moment in the sun jostling for attention with United, who require a solitary point at Blackburn to become the most successful club in English history.

Yet even if Manchester United are crowned Premier League champions, City can nevertheless be able to confirm their emergence as English football's rising force with their first trophy since 1976.

Victory at Wembley would be the perfect end to a week that saw Roberto Mancini's men clinch a Champions League spot.

And for Mancini, winning the FA Cup would be the first step in his mission to change the mentality of City, who have become the highest spending club in world football since their 2008 takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

Ferguson charged over comments

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association on Friday over comments about referee Howard Webb in which he called him "the best referee in the country".

The charge, which comes two months after Ferguson received a five-match touchline ban for criticising referees, relates to views expressed at a news conference before last Sunday's 2-1 victory over Chelsea.

FA regulations make it clear that managers are not allowed to comment on referees before a match, regardless of whether the statements are positive or negative.

Ferguson has until 4pm on May 16 to respond to this charge.

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