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Sep, 22, 2009

Evra: Owen saved us from Fergie backlash

Michael Owen's dramatic derby winner saved his team-mates from the dreaded "hairdryer" treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson, according to Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.

• Garrido blames United for derby ire

Evra said it would have been "very difficult" to enter the dressing room after his side's match with Manchester City had the score remained 3-3, in a game Ferguson claimed his side should have won "by six or seven".

Sloppy errors by United goalkeeper Ben Foster and defender Rio Ferdinand gifted City two of their three goals, before Owen's controversial 96th minute winner earned the three points for his side.

''It would have been very difficult to go inside the dressing room if we had drawn,'' Evra told MUTV. ''I think the manager would have given the hairdryer to everybody.

''But to score like that, in the last second of the game, was just amazing. The players on the bench were coming on the pitch, the fans, the atmosphere - this is why I say thanks to God I play in the Premier League and for United.''

The Football Association are investigating Gary Neville's over-the-top goal celebration, plus Craig Bellamy's clash with a fan immediately after Owen's matchwinner.

But Evra is now more focused on a title race in which everyone, apart from Chelsea, has now lost at least one game.

''It was important to win because City hadn't lost,'' he said. "When we were drawing, I was thinking that people would start to say that City are still strong because they never lose. Now everybody has lost, except for Chelsea.''

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