Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand brands Manchester City and Liverpool also-rans, not contenders

The defender is celebrating after helping United to their 20th league title

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand has dismissed two of the clubs who have tried and failed to shatter the newly crowned Premier League champions' stranglehold on the title, declaring Liverpool "have not been seen since" after pushing for the title under Rafael Benitez four years ago

On a day when Manchester City's gloom in seeing United dethrone them for a 20th title triumph was compounded by strong suggestions from France that Paris Saint-Germain have beaten them to the signing of the Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, Ferdinand also took a pop at Roberto Mancini's side. "It's always sweet when you win the title and it's nice to do it here, in the right way and in style, not on goal difference," said Ferdinand, following Monday's 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford. "We have won it outright and we have won it comfortably."

The United chief executive, David Gill, said that they did not consider any one club to be their prime challengers – 12 months after City's title brought premature suggestions that the balance of power was shifting in Manchester.

City had hoped to begin their spending early this summer, though reports from France suggest that Cavani is ready to agree a deal with PSG, under which he would command £7.2m a year plus bonuses and join his former Napoli team-mate Ezequiel Lavezzi in Paris.

Ferdinand, who has now won six titles at Old Trafford, said securing the championship so emphatically – they may yet break the points record set by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in 2005 by winning their last four games – reveals the "resilience and the attitude in the squad the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] has instilled. A lot of other teams would probably have fallen away. 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 this club has."

Sunday's visit to the Emirates provides the chance to expose the gulf between United and Arsenal. Robin van Persie, whose hat-trick against Villa sealed the title and took his tally in the Premier League this season to 24 goals, reflected on how moving to Old Trafford last summer had delivered everything that his former club Arsenal had not. "I had to wait a long time," Van Persie said. "I've been speaking about it with Rio and he's been telling me: 'Listen, whatever happens, that's the standard.' He's right. From now on, our new standard is we want to be champions every year and we want to win more."

Ferdinand dismissed suggestions that this United title-winning side is inferior to others. "I think it is pointless trying to compare teams because it is different eras," he said. "It makes good pub talk and good media talk, but for us, it is neither here nor there – it's about winning. We respect all of the teams that have gone before us," Ferdinand added, "but we just want to be part of this club's history."

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam