Jonny Evans is back playing after a month on the sidelines through injury and he relished the hard slog seeing out United’s victory against Fulham on Saturday.
The 25-year-old defender put in a hard shift at Craven Cottage as the Reds held out for an important 1-0 victory courtesy not only of Wayne Rooney’s 79th minute strike but some resolute defensive work.
Evans admitted to feeling rusty after a month out with a troublesome hamstring problem. “It’s good to be back but I got cramp in my calves in the last ten minutes!” he told MUTV. “It took me a while to get into the game in the first 20 minutes. Once I got over that I felt all right. I’m just glad to be back out there.
“It was a tough game. Once we scored it actually gave them a bit of impetus to put pressure on us. Our main concern was not wanting to sit back and invite the pressure, but that turned out to be the case. We defended well and won some good headers to see out the game.”
Rooney’s late intervention felt like it could be more broadly significant in the title race. “It was a good time to get the goal and I think I should get an assist for that,” Evans joked. “Wazza took the goal brilliantly. He showed great composure and put it right in the bottom corner.
“It does feel [like a significant result], especially going ten points clear, even with City having a game in hand. We had a great result at Fulham last year when we won 5-0, but in seasons gone by it has been really tough for us. It’s a hard place to come and we had to grind out the result. We had quite a few chances but once the goal went in it was a bit of a relief. After that we just had to defend well.”