Jonny Evans glad of favour from Southampton's Steven Davis in title race

Manchester City defeat allowed United to move 12 points clear

Jonny Evans' pestering did the trick as Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis helped put Manchester United on course for the title this weekend.

Click here to watch highlights of the game

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."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own