Evra expects to take top spot

Evra expects to take top spot

Published Nov. 21, 2010 4:43 p.m. ET

Patrice Evra is confident Manchester United will take over as Premier League leaders with victory over Blackburn next weekend.

Evra scored his first goal since April 2007 as United saw off nine-man Wigan on Saturday with, in the words of Sir Alex Ferguson, "a competent performance, but no more".

That was all United needed however, given the incompetence shown by Chelsea and Arsenal, and only goal difference is now keeping Ferguson's men from being top of the pile.

Evra said: "I said before the game that if we beat Wigan and Blackburn next week we would be top of the league, and I am still confident of that.


"But I think the team can give much more than we are giving right now.

"We are still at the top of the league, but against Blackburn we need to play from the first minute, not just at the end of the game.

"We are Manchester United and we need to be more aggressive and score more goals - and to bring back the way United play always."

Evra's headed goal arrived at the perfect moment just on the stroke of half-time.

"I don't think my son was even born the last time I scored a goal for United," Evra joked afterwards on MUTV.

"It was a good cross from my best friend Ji-sung Park, I think maybe I'll get him a big present for Christmas, maybe a car."

Wigan self-destructed in the second half, shortly after Wayne Rooney had come off the bench for his first appearance since his controversial threat to leave the club was followed by the signing of a new contract.

Whether because Rooney's appearance unnerved Wigan, or just through frustration that their promising first half had been undone by Evra, both Antolin Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega launched into unnecessary challenges.

Alcaraz was sent off by referee Martin Atkinson for a second cautionable offence, while Rodallega was given a straight red for a two-footed, off-the-ground lunge at Rafael.

Javier Hernandez headed the second and he believes Rooney's return to action has come just at the right time.

"He's a class player, he's a great team-mate and we want Wayne to be at 100% now to help the team," said Hernandez. "We all think great things are coming soon."

Whether great things are in the offing for £30million Dimitar Berbatov is less certain however after Ferguson chose Federico Macheda and Gabriel Obertan to start in attack and did not even name the Bulgarian as a substitute.

"I just left him out - picking my subs today I just thought I had to give a different type of variety," said Ferguson.