Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has shown a hunger to win the title that has foiled Manchester City's efforts. Reuters

Alan Hansen believes that Manchester United have shown a greater hunger for the title than Manchester City, with the former proving that hard work is always necessary if a club is going to be successful in the long term.

City's loss to Southampton at the weekend put United in prime position at the top of the table, and after the Red Devils defeated Everton 2-0 they went 12 points clear, coming close to sealing the title.

Roberto Mancini has admitted that his side have just a 10% chance of winning come the end of the season, and Hansen believes that City stopped trying after they won last season, not realising just how difficult it is to keep such a high level of success going.

He said in the Telegraph: "As United fixed the problems in their squad that cost them a year ago - not least with the purchase of Robin van Persie - City acted like the hard work was done and committed the errors which have surely now ended their reign.

"You can never absolutely say it is over in February, but I see no coming back for City now and although you will not hear Roberto Mancini and Ferguson admit if publicly, privately they know it.

"The victory lap towards United's 20th title effectively began at full-time against Everton."

Hansen also argued that United have shown an attitude that has put them apart from City, both on and off the pitch.

"I do not see the same spirit and togetherness in the City squad as United," he explained. "If United gave a first half performance like we had seen from City at St Mary's, we would have seen Ferguson on the pitch yelling at his players.

"However flawed City's current squad is, a 12-point gap would have been inconceivable at the start of the season but it is a fair reflection of the difference in quality and, perhaps most telling, on-pitch attitude."