United lost the title on the final day of the 2011-2012 season in stoppage time when Sergio Aguero's goal gave fierce local rivals City a 3-2 win against Queens Park Rangers, and Ferguson has admitted in his autobiography that the outcome was the worst moment of his trophy-laden 27 years with the Red Devils.
"Of all the setbacks I endured," Ferguson wrote, "nothing compared to losing the league to City.
"We were champions for 30 seconds. When our whistle blew [against Sunderland] we were champions.
"Our players knew they had ballsed it up. There were no excuses."
United regained the title last season, before Ferguson retired from football.