SAF: Bring on Gunners and Blues

Ferguson watched his side increase their grip on top spot courtesy of Javier Hernandez’s 84th-minute header then set his sights on a triumphant run-in.

Matches against both would-be title rivals have long been considered key to United’s hopes, but Ferguson believes his side are well placed to win those games as well.

"The thing that puzzles me is they (the media) keep saying Arsenal and Chelsea have got to play us still, like we’re going to lose them…why shouldn’t we win those games?" he told Sky Sports 2. "As I said to the players, forget all that nonsense. Just try to win your games and you’ll be all right, keep your heads and don’t get carried away.

"There’re only four games left and the way they are going about their business gives them an outstanding chance (of success)."

Ferguson also had praise for match-winner Javier Hernandez, who continues to exceed all expectations in a prolific first year in England.

"We didn’t expect that (level of performance)," admitted the Scot. "We thought a year of introducing him to the club and adapting to English football and strengthening him up.

"He’s done all those things already. He comes in every day at nine and he’s the last to leave, this boy is very dedicated."

Everton boss David Moyes rued a missed opportunity to take something from the match.

"We’ve come up against a really good Manchester United side and just at the end the lapse gives them that opportunity," he said. "Today for long periods we held a really good team out, who look like they might be champions.

"I thought we’d just about weathered it and maybe we could see if we could try and get a goal, but that’s what happens when you open up."