Evra: We've learned our lesson
Patrice Evra insists Manchester United have learned their lesson and plan to ignore what Manchester City get up to this season.
United's 2-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday briefly took them 10 points ahead of City, who responded by beating Arsenal at the Emirates to close the gab back down to seven. That means it is less than the eight points City hunted down in the space of four matches at the end of last season to secure their first title since 1968 and deprive United of their 20th.
Yet the feeling at Old Trafford remains that the wound was self-inflicted, caused by too much attention being wasted on what was happening down the road. "This year we are focusing more on ourselves whereas last year we were more worried about City," Evra told Canal+. "There was too much focus on what they were going to do in their next game."
The full-back added: "But this year it's about us. By having a good season, we will become the champions. We finished last season with the same number of points as the champions and it is obvious we are stronger than last year given the addition of players like (Robin) Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa."
With 55 points from their first 22 games, United have created a Premier League record, failing to win only four games. Since their defeat at Norwich on November 17, they have won nine out of 10 games, drawing the other one.
Crucially, Van Persie has made a goalscoring contribution on nine occasions, underlining why City boss Roberto Mancini is not alone in believing the Dutchman will be the difference at the top this season.
Not that he is the only goal threat from the Old Trafford outfit. Depending on how United's second is viewed, Sir Alex Ferguson's squad either have 18 goalscorers in their midst, with Nemanja Vidic the latest addition, or Evra has five, not bad to say he only scored three times in his first six and a half years.
"He (Vidic) said it's my goal but I don't know," said Evra. "Maybe if it was a striker, they would give the goal to (Wayne) Rooney or Van Persie.
"But maybe because it's Evra they will not give the goal to me."