Owen: Manchester City will be challengers

Michael Owen is in no doubt Manchester City will be among the leading lights in the Barclays Premier League this season.

Owen dramatic injury-time strike gave Manchester United a 4-3 victory over their rivals but City went toe-to-toe with their illustrious neighbours and were within seconds of claiming a morale-boosting draw.

"Manchester City have been quite impressive since the start of the season," said the former Liverpool striker.

"You would think they will be up at the right end of the table.

"Everyone is guessing how far up the table that is. Whether it is a European place or a Champions League place I am not sure. But I definitely think they will be up there."

The calmness Owen displayed as he finished off Ryan Giggs' sublime pass in the sixth minute of stoppage-time was a reminder of the quality the 29-year-old still possesses.

Owen has only started one game this season, the defeat at Burnley last month, which goes some way to explaining why his present tally is just two.

He should get another opportunity on Wednesday though, when United tackle Wolves as they begin the defence of the Carling Cup at Old Trafford.

"Some games you get four chances and don't score, then you get criticised, other times you get one chance and you score," he said.

"That is the hard bit as a striker. You have to ride all the emotions and waves. You get criticised when you miss a few. You take the adulation when you score."

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