FERGUSON NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson denied his side have taken a decisive lead in the title race after they moved five points clear at the top with a 2-0 victory over Blackburn on Monday night.
United had to wait until the final 10 minutes to secure the win at Ewood Park with Antonio Valencia crashing in from an acute angle before Ashley Young's turn and finish ensured the points soon after.
It meant United moved further clear of stuttering Manchester rivals City, who could see the gap extended to eight points before they travel to Arsenal on Sunday.
United next meet QPR, who moved out of the drop zone at the expense of Blackburn following this result, at Old Trafford before City meet the Gunners later that day.
The win was United's seventh league success on the spin as they have fully cashed in on City's struggles to take over the title race.
"We've still got seven games left. In my experience of these situations, it doesn't matter what the points are at the moment," Ferguson told Sky Sports 1.
"It matters about next Sunday's game."
The Scot admitted his team were made to work hard by a hard-working Rovers side.
"It was a long night. We had to persevere and persevere. We got our rewards," he said.
"We weren't making any clear-cut chances for a long time.
"But it was an important win and it typifies the history of the club."
Ferguson felt he was also indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea, who made three good saves in the first half to prevent his side from going behind.
"The progress is obvious for all to see," he said.
"He's growing in stature and confidence. He made three great first-half saves.
"David kept us in the game. We had a lot of possession, but we just couldn't get that goal with the way Blackburn defended deep."
Young hailed the result as "massive" in the title race.
"I think this was a massive game for us. We knew if we won we would go five points clear," Young told Sky Sports 1.
"It was a great result, a great performance.
"It's crucial time in season. Everyone knows that.
"To get that goal, we knew it would come at some point, whether it was a shot or cross it went in the back of the net."
Valencia capped another impressive performance with a memorable goal, but asked whether it was a cross or shot, he joked: "It was 50-50."
Rovers boss Steve Kean saw his side drop into the bottom three but believes they showed enough to suggest they are capable of avoiding the drop.
"If we can play at that standard for next seven games - not for 80 mins but 90 - we'll get plenty of wins," he said.
"We've got to take all the positives out of the first 80 minutes. We've got to set that standard.
"We were playing against the potential champions.
"I think for 80 minutes we gave it a really good go. Their goalkeeper has had a very good night. He's made good saves when we've had our little opportunities.
"I thought (Junior) Hoilett and Yakubu caused them problems."
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