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JUAN SEBASTIAN VERON has fired a warning shot to title rivals Arsenal, insisting: ‘If you crack we are ready to pounce.'

He says Manchester United can make up for their European heartbreak by retaining their Premiership crown despite the five-point deficit.

Veron told Sport of the World he believes Arsenal can still fold under pressure and told them to expect a Champions League backlash in Wednesday's Old Trafford showdown.

He said: "You have to say that it's in Arsenal's hands. They've built up a good points advantage, but you never know.

"You can always get surprises in football and teams can drop points when you least expect it.

"We have to do our job by winning our games. We've got to keep our hopes up. We are playing well at the moment.

"It may well be that as we come to the death, nerves could work against them.

"A victory on Wednesday could put the pressure right back on them for their last game against Everton."

Veron (below) is desperate to make up for United's devastating European Cup exit last Tuesday at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen.

He knows that the Premiership champions under-performed in both legs of the Euro semi-final.

But he insists they have rediscovered their rhythm after a disappointing opening to the season, and started to play more like the United of old.

And Veron claims the defeat at the BayArena will only inspire Sir Alex Ferguson's side for the Arsenal visit.

He added: "In the second half of the season our play has improved.

"We have gelled together a lot more than we did at the start of the season.

"The team finally started to play in the style that Manchester United and their supporters have become accustomed to — but more than anything we have achieved a level of consistency that was missing in the early stages of the season.

"We started to dictate the play more, we are now playing at United's pace rather than that of other teams, like we did at the start of the season.

"That hunger and the will to win is important and I think it has returned to the dressing room. I think it helped us to get back on board and get that consistency."

Veron has moved to Manchester to win trophies and is already thinking about next season's European Cup Final—and a date with destiny at Old Trafford.

He went on: "While you've got to be able to take victory or defeat equally, the motivation for winning things is always there.

"That's even more true at a big club like United, where expectations are always high.

"But you can never win trophies by your name alone. Manchester United have no divine right to win in Europe or the league.

"We've seen that in Spain. Real Madrid were expected to win the league by 10 or 15 points but Valencia are back in the driving seat and look like they could go on and win it.

"These things happen in football but, at the same time, it would be great to finish the season with a trophy.

"It's all part and parcel of the game. Football can't just be about facts and figures and you do get upsets in the game.

"If you didn't, football would be a very boring game.

"What has happened this season has led to an exciting finish, which is good for football.

"I would love to be able to say that the title was still in our hands, but it is not. The main thing we can do is keep fighting until the very last game and do everything we can."

"But we'll start off again next season with the same hope and desire to lift trophies in the Manchester United shirt.

"It is tremendous to think that the European Cup Final next year will be here at Old Trafford.

"It would be a dream come true for the fans and the players — to play in the final at our own ground, in front of our own fans."

from the news of the world


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Oh, from that ever so trustworthy source the News of the World :rolleyes:

Sorry Mart, Arsenal are going to give you a bloody good kicking. ;)

Veron's far too exciting to play for Manchester Utd...
He's probably back to Lazio during the summer, and not a moment too soon.
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