Manchester United pounced on the opportunity to pull 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over Everton at Old Trafford.
Ryan Giggs grabbed the opening goal to extend his record of having scored in every season of the Premier League, and Robin van Persie added a second just before half-time.
Everton fought hard in the second half in an effort to get back into the game but were rarely able to threaten as their own top-four hopes were dented, with United warming up for their UEFA Champions League game at Real Madrid in fine style.
There had been a thought that Sir Alex Ferguson would decide to rest a number of his key players ahead of the trip to the Bernabeu, but the immediate focus was on strengthening their position in the title race after Manchester City's shock loss to Southampton on Saturday and Van Persie was selected alongside Everton old boy Wayne Rooney up front.
It was Everton who were rocked by a late blow before kick-off when John H...