Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini claims it is a difference in attitude that has led to Manchester United running away with their 20th league title this season.
The Red Devils will reclaim the Barclays Premier League title if they can beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday, following City's 3-1 defeat at Tottenham.
Mancini reckons there is no difference in the quality of the two squads but feels a better attitude from Sir Alex Ferguson's side has led to the sizable margin at the top of the table.
"We don't have a gap," he said. "The last two or three years every time we have played United we have played better. Also, when we lose the game, we lost in the last second.
"Last year we beat them easily. Every time when we have played them in the last two or three years we haven't had any problems.
"The reason there is a gap like today, probably there is more attitude, they wanted, they started the season and they wanted to win after last year. There are many reasons why we lose but, I repeat, they deserve to win it."
Mancini could still lead City to a second FA Cup success in three years when they face Wigan in the final on May 11 but the Italian admits he is unhappy at City's title defence, even if he does not believe his job is under threat.
"We have another five games now, we play in the FA Cup, and when I have the chance to talk with the chairman I will explain," he said.
"But we talk about this many times and we don't need to sit now or in two or three weeks. I'm not happy because I like to win the championship because this was our target when we started the season.
"I'm not happy with the season because I want always the maximum. But we have another chance to win the FA Cup and I think the FA Cup is important. And we can be in second position."
Spurs hit back after an early Samir Nasri strike with three goals in seven second-half minutes to rekindle their top-four hopes.
Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale secured a memorable win, with the latter scoring his 23rd goal after returning to the side.
The Wales international struggled to impact the game in the early stages but was shifted to the right flank by Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, who was pleased with Bale's contribution.
"We had the green light from the player and he felt well to approach the game and I think the impact of having him in the team is also important," said Villas-Boas.
"When we moved him to the right, [Gael] Clichy stopped going forward due to the respect they have for Gareth.
"After he felt confident with his assist he gained a little bit more confidence and then the mind takes over the fitness levels and he was able to play the full 90 minutes with great importance."