Sir Alex Ferguson has ridiculed Roberto Mancini's claims Manchester United have it easy in the Premier League and accused the Manchester City boss of seeking 'self-sympathy'.
Despite City's 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Monday they remain 12 points behind rivals United in the Premier League, with the Italian admitting after the game they have no chance of retaining their crown.
Mancini had claimed one of the reasons why United have such a strong advantage is that their opponents play with fear against them and are not convinced they can win.
But Ferguson has questioned that assertion, insisting opposition sides always give their all against United.
"That's absolute nonsense. He was maybe looking for a bit of self-sympathy or something like that," said Ferguson.
"We all recognise the English game is the most honest in the world and has been for many years.
"At Norwich this season the energy their two wide players expended was phenomenal. They ran 100 miles. That's an example of the Premier League.
"And the Reading game, when it went to 3-2, I thought we were going to lose.
"There are a lot of games I've watched this season, when I've said to myself 'are they trying?' - of course they're trying.
"These teams have 3,000 fans following them away from home. There is no way they could come to Old Trafford and not do their best. That also applies itself to the Etihad, Stamford Bridge, the Emirates or Anfield.
"That is the nature of the English game."