In his programme notes ahead of Monday evening's FA Cup fifth round tie with Reading, Ferguson wrote of the last round of league games nine days ago: "Once I knew City had lost [at Southampton, 3-1] we'd been gifted an enormous opportunity to push on.
"A nine-point lead was good but not sensational – the chance of a 12-point advantage was a different story, so I scrapped my plans to rest a fair number of players [for Everton] with Real Madrid in mind three days later. We had a strong side out and I think the players sensed the opening for them was there." Everton were beaten.
"What a great weekend for Manchester United fans," Ferguson added. "First up for celebration was defeat for our nearest rivals, followed by our 2-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford."
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