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By ESPN Staff

Coyle: Man United still title favourites

Owen Coyle still expects Manchester United to win the title this season despite his Burnley side beating the champions 1-0 at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.

In their first top-flight home game for 33 years, the Clarets emerged victorious thanks to a combination of Robbie Blake's excellent volley and Brian Jensen's fine penalty save to deny Michael Carrick.

The result sent Burnley's ecstatic fans into raptures and left Sir Alex Ferguson to bemoan his side's failure to take the chances that did come their way.

Not that Coyle feels Ferguson has too much to worry about.

"Sir Alex dealt with defeat in the gracious manner I would expect of someone like that," said Coyle. "He is the best manager in world football and I still expect Manchester United to be champions."

After defying the odds to win promotion in the first place, Burnley have been most bookmakers' pre-season favourites for the drop.

That feeling was only enhanced by Saturday's defeat at Stoke, which led some to suggest Burnley would be marooned at the bottom by Christmas.

Yet it seems Coyle's men will not be the easy-beats many imagined.

"One or two have already written us off," said Coyle. "I am not surprised about that. When you look at the financial side, we will have to produce every week.

"Outside this club, everybody looked at our first five games (Stoke, United, Everton, Chelsea and Liverpool) and expected we would be on zero points.

"We were disappointed on Saturday and we needed to be brave this time.

"Now we have a massive game on Sunday against Everton, although whatever happens we are three points better off than we were at this stage in the Championship last season."

In truth, while United dominated possession apart from a little Burnley flurry that brought their goal, they had few decent opportunities.

Michael Owen failed to make contact with a couple of them, while neither Wayne Rooney nor Park Ji-sung could find the net once Carrick had failed from the spot.

"It was a bad performance considering the chances and possession we had," said Ferguson.

"Maybe if we had got the penalty just before half time it would have made a difference but in saying that we were too frivolous with the chances we had.

"It has been a long time out of the top flight for them and you cannot deny them their victory."


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