Jonny Evans glad of favour from Southampton's Steven Davis in title race
Manchester City defeat allowed United to move 12 points clear
Monday 11 February 2013
Jonny Evans' pestering did the trick as Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis helped put Manchester United on course for the title this weekend.
The pair spent most of last week on international duty together with Michael O'Neill's side, who were held to a 0-0 draw in Malta on Wednesday.
This weekend went much better for them both, though, with Davis scoring as Southampton impressively defeated Manchester City 3-1 on Saturday evening.
That result meant Evans' United side could open up a 12-point gap at the top of the Premier League, which they duly did with victory over Everton yesterday.
"To be fair, he said to me throughout the week that it would be nice to try and get a result for him," Davis said.
"Obviously that's not something I worried about but it is always nice to help an international team-mate."
Davis was more concerned with the fact Southampton managed to secure a first win under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, moving them four points clear of the drop zone.
"We're obviously delighted with the result," he said. "We knew we would obviously have to put a lot of pressure on them up the pitch.
"That is the way the manager wants us to play and we managed to do that. We caused them a few problems and deserved the three points.
"It is hard to look at other teams at this point in time. You've just got to concentrate on yourself.
"We've shown that if we can keep the consistency going and level of performance we are more than capable of staying in this division and hopefully kicking on."
The victory against City came thanks in no small part to the success of the pressing game employed by Pochettino.
Saints midfielder Jack Cork, arguably their man of the match, said: "It does feel like you need two hearts to play like that.
"It is hard work but you can see the result and hopefully if we can keep that standard going, we can hopefully do that every week.
"We've been playing well for quite a while now - it is a good two or three months we've been picking up a few results.
"The last few games under the new gaffer we've been playing some really good stuff.
"After a great game like that against City, there is no reason why we can't keep going and get higher up the table."
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