Evra: We handed it to Chelsea
United gifted Chelsea the Premier League title. That's the blunt assessment of Reds left back Patrice Evra as he surveyed the Reds' failure by just a single point to beat Carlo Ancelotti's newly-crowned champions. League defeats to Burnley, Liverpool, Chelsea (twice), Aston Villa, Fulham and Everton were the results which ended the club's hopes of making history by becoming the first team to win four successive titles. "I congratulate Chelsea. If they win the league it is because they deserve it but I feel like we have given them the league," said Evra. "We lost too many games. "We should not lose against Chelsea at Old Trafford. Then we drew against Blackburn and dropped more points. And in the beginning of the season we lost to Burnley. "After losing to Chelsea last month we eventually did a fantastic job to bounce back. It is not easy to win against City and then against Tottenham and Sunderland. "However, there were many games we lost when we shouldn't have. That was the key." Evra joined United from Monaco in the 2006 January transfer window and has held aloft the Premier League trophy in his three full seasons in England, up until this one. And finishing the campaign without a championship medal doesn't sit well with the 29-year-old French international. "To finish second is good, but it is not my mentality," added Evra, whose sights are now set on the World Cup in South Africa. "I always say when we don't win the Premier League it feels like I have not done my job for the team. When you play for Manchester United you must always win. It is true. "This was the first time I have never won the league and it feels strange. Sunday was a sad day. Every year I play for United I want to win. Next year will be the same. This year I don't feel we have done the job very well. "Here you have to be first. It doesn't change. Every year I play for Manchester United I want to be the best." Evra, however, can take some solace from the fact he was the only United captain to pick up silverware this term having skippered the Reds at Wembley in the Carling Cup final triumph against Aston Villa in March. He also played more games than any other United player in their marathon campaign with 51 appearances. Wayne Rooney was his nearest challenger with 44. "I am pleased and very proud with the amount of games I played," he said. "It is not easy because you can have injuries. I was in good form. "Everyone has congratulated me on my season, which I am very proud about. "It is not just about playing, it is performing. I performed for 51 games. That is why I am very proud about myself." Darren Fletcher was in a defiant mood as United's record 19th title slipped from their grasp. "All we can do is bounce back and have a go for the 19th next season," said the Scottish midfielder. "We wanted to make it four in a row but it didn't happen. Hopefully losing the title this year will give us more determination to fight for it next year. "We have won the Carling Cup but this club expects the championship and expects European finals. We are disappointed with that side of things. But, hopefully, it will make us more determined to come back next season. "It has not been a great season. No-one has really put a marker down. But fair play to Chelsea, the team that won the league deserves it. We will bounce back next season."
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