Manu objective now to knock Arsenal off the top
Manchester United are trying to concentrate on knocking Arsenal off the top of the Premier League standings, despite the fallout from the club's Christmas party.
The Red Devils are one point behind league leaders Arsenal and host Everton on Sunday. But United have been on the front pages of British newspapers this week after 19-year-old Jonny Evans was arrested and accused of rape.
The 19-year-old Northern Ireland international, who turned himself into the police on Tuesday night, denies the charge and was released on police bail until February 23 pending further investigation.
On the field, it's looking good for United.
"The seasons where we have struggled in the past are the ones where we have been out of contention at Christmas, so we are really happy with the way it has gone so far," said captain Gary Neville, who hasn't played this season because of injury.
Everton are hoping to beat United—for the first time since April 2005—and break into the top four. "When people say it is impossible to break into the top four, I see that as fighting talk and our motivation," Everton manager David Moyes said.
Fulham can't say the same about their season. They fired Lawrie Sanchez after eight months in charge on Friday. The club is in 18th place.
Arsenal lead the standings with 40 points, followed by Manchester United with 39, Chelsea with 34, Manchester City with 33. Liverpool, Everton and Portsmouth have 30.
Also on Saturday, it's: Arsenal vs Tottenham; Aston Villa vs Manchester City; Middlesbrough vs West Ham; Liverpool vs Portsmouth; Bolton vs Birmingham; and Reading vs Sunderland.
Chelsea are at Blackburn and Newcastle host Derby on Sunday.
Liverpool have had a bad week. They lost 0-1 to Manchester United on Sunday to fall 10 points off Arsenal. Then, missing captain Steven Gerrard and striker Fernando Torres, they lost 0-2 to Chelsea in the League Cup quarter finals in Wednesday. Striker Peter Crouch was sent off and he'll miss the Portsmouth match as the first of his three-match ban.
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