Tom Cleverley
Tom Cleverley. REUTERS

Tom Cleverley has admitted he was "always confident" Manchester United could keep pace with rivals City in the race for the Premier League crown.

City squandered the chance to move five points clear of Manchester United on Monday evening when they lost 2-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United now trail Roberto Mancini's side by two points ahead of Sunday's trip to QPR. United will go top if they win at Loftus Road and City lose against Arsenal later the same day.

Cleverley, who remains side-lined with an ankle injury, said he was confident the Manchester United squad was strong enough to cope with a mounting injury list and elimination from the Champions League.

"Monday was their [City's] first slip-up of the season ... but we were always confident we could catch them. It's going to be an interesting weekend," the Manchester United midfielder told Sky Sports.

"We've got a great team spirit so if anyone can bounce back from disappointment it would be our squad.

"We've had a lot of tough games in a short period of time and we've been knocked out of two tournaments [the Champions League and the Carling Cup] - but we are still well placed in the league."