Mon, Feb 12, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Ferguson wants all eyes on prize

DON'T LOOK BACK The Manchester United manager warned his players against making the mistake of looking over their shoulders at Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side

AFP , LONDON

Sir Alex Ferguson has told his Manchester United players to forget about title rivals Chelsea after a 2-0 win against Charlton maintained their lead at the top of the Premiership.

South Korea's Park Ji-sung put United ahead in the first half and Darren Fletcher scored late on to ensure they stayed six points ahead of second-placed Chelsea.

Ferguson said: "We are playing well and with a lot of confidence. Sometimes in these situations, there is a tendency to look over your shoulder and concentrate on the team that is chasing. I prefer to look forward because we have some really promising games coming up."

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho demanded his team keep the pressure on United after their 3-0 win against Middlesbrough.

Didier Drogba scored twice either side of a Abel Xavier own goal at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea extended their winning run to five matches.

"I wanted Chelsea to win and win and win and, in the main, that is what we have done," Mourinho said. "Now we must keep on doing it."

Newcastle staged a stirring fightback to claim a 2-1 win over Liverpool and give George Gillett and Tom Hicks, the Anfield club's new US owners, a disappointing start to their reign.

Craig Bellamy, who spent four years at Newcastle before leaving in acrimonious circumstances, had given third-placed Liverpool the lead after six minutes at St James' Park when he converted Jermaine Pennant's pass.

But Obafemi Martins put Newcastle back on level terms in the 26th minute with a tap-in for his 12th goal of the season.

Nolberto Solano capped the revival by Glenn Roeder's side when he slotted home a penalty in the 70th minute.

Darius Henderson's first goal of the season gave rock-bottom Watford a glimmer of hope in their survival battle as they won 1-0 at fellow strugglers West Ham.

Anton Ferdinand was penalized for a tug on Henderson in the 12th minute and the striker converted the spot-kick himself.

Marlon Harewood wasted a glorious chance to save West Ham when he won a penalty after being brought down by Gavin Mahon in the second half, but he drove the spot-kick wide to leave Alan Curbishley's side deep in trouble.

Curbishley revealed Australia defender Lucas Neill suffered a knee injury that could keep him out for weeks.

Watford are seven points from safety but their third win of the season will give them renewed hope of beating the drop.

Sheffield United moved a step closer to survival as they came back from a goal down to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Bramall Lane.

Jermaine Jenas got Tottenham off to the ideal start with a second minute goal.

But United responded well and Rob Hulse equalized in the 27th minute with a header from Colin Kazim-Richards' corner before Phil Jagielka won it for the Blades with a penalty in the 62nd minute.

Steve Sidwell scored twice as Reading kept their bid for an unlikely European place on course with a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa.

Sidwell headed in the opener from Stephen Hunt's corner after 16 minutes and consolidated sixth place for Reading with a fine finish in the 90th minute.

Nwankwo Kanu's late goal gave Portsmouth a 2-1 home victory against Manchester City.

Everton striker Andy Johnson celebrated his birthday with the goal that sealed a 1-0 win against Blackburn at Goodison Park.

Yesterday, Arsenal hosted Wigan and Fulham traveled to Bolton.

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