Rio Ferdinand hailed Manchester United’s performance as they re-established a five-point lead over title rivals Manchester City with a comfortable 4-0 win over Aston Villa in their Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Ashley Young was at the centre of more penalty controversy seven days after facing accusations of diving against QPR as he went down under minimal contact once again, this time over Ciaran Clark’s half-outstretched foot.
Wayne Rooney converted his 30th goal of the season from the resulting spot-kick before Danny Welbeck finished off from close range just before the break. Rooney added the third in the 73rd minute before Nani fired home in injury time as United put further daylight between themselves and Roberto Mancini’s City.
Ferdinand dismissed last Wednesday’s loss against Wigan as a “blip” and said no-one at the club is taking their foot off the gas despite re-opening the gap at the top. Ferdinand told Sky Sports 1: “Today we had to put on a good performance. The onus was on us to do that at home and we did that.
“We put pressure on ourselves to win games. The pressure is on ourselves from within from the fans and boss and other results don’t come into it,” said the England defender.
Ferdinand also praised United’s attacking performance following the early penalty. “It’s always nice to get an early goal,” he said. “It settles the team down and makes the team more fluid. “You saw that today — we played some really good stuff, some one-touch football and when we’re in full flow like that it’s great to be behind and watching it. We want to win every game to the end of the season. That’s not changed and that won’t change until the end of the season.”