Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that Manchester City's shock defeat to Southampton yesterday had a major impact on his team selection for today's encounter with Everton at Old Trafford.
Ferguson said he was going to make "seven changes" from the side which beat Fulham last weekend, but Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick were the only regular starters omitted from the staring XI.
The move paid off as United ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie to move 12 points clear of Roberto Mancini's men, who were beaten 3-1 at St Mary's.
"Yeah it did," he told Sky Sports 1, when asked if yesterday's result had prompted a change of heart.
"I thought I'd make about seven changes, but when I saw the result yesterday, I knew how important the game today would be for us and we can make more changes later on in the season."