Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims his team have been the best side to watch this season - whether they win the Barclays Premier League or not.
City are on the brink of winning their first title for 44 years as they head into their final game of the season leading the table on goal difference from Manchester United. Despite their advantage being only a slender one, City have earned plaudits for some outstanding play throughout the season, not least in 6-1 wins at both United and Norwich.
Norwich were also hammered 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium while Tottenham were vanquished by that scoreline at White Hart Lane. Mancini, accepting City could be pipped at the post on Sunday, said: "I think in the end the team that wins deserves to win, always. We have played the better football, 100%, even if we don't win, we played the better football."
Yet when pressed on the matter at a press conference to preview this weekend's climactic game against QPR, Mancini said he did not want to contradict United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot suggested City retreated to play a defensive, Italian-style game during the recent derby between the two clubs, which City won 1-0 to reclaim top spot.
Mancini said: "I agree with him. I am Italian, I can't change my mentality. He is Scottish, I think he is the best manager in the world. I agree with him.
"It is important we score enough goals to win the title. I think we played really well for six months, for me the best football in the Premier League.
"Like other teams, it is impossible to play well every game.
"We had one month where we had a problem - we didn't play well, we conceded easy goals, we didn't score. But this is normal.
"I think in the end, even if after Sunday we don't win the title, we played the best football in England."