Jonny Evans does not believe the obvious failures of a derby disaster and Champions League humiliation should be allowed to obscure what has been an otherwise effective first half of the Premier League season by Manchester United.

Barring an unexpected setback against Blackburn at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve, United will begin 2012 on top of the table, with Manchester City not in action at Sunderland for another 24 hours.

Aside from the 6-1 loss at home to City, United have dropped points in just three other fixtures, allowing them to close in on their neighbours. And for that, Evans feels United deserve credit, saying: "Compared to last year, the start we've had has been a lot better."

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