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Ferguson hails battling win

Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted to see Manchester United battle their way to three points at Sunderland and edge a step closer to the Premier League title.

Last Updated: 31/03/13 at 06:57 Post Comment

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United required a helping hand en route to claiming a seventh straight success in the league, and an 18-point lead at the summit, with a Titus Bramble own goal seeing them to a narrow 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland, who are scrapping for their lives towards the foot of the table, made life difficult for the Red Devils during a spirited second-half display and Ferguson admits his side had to dig deep to get over the line.

He told Sky Sports: "It was a battling performance by the players. We picked up two or three injuries along the way and it was courage that got us through in the second half. It means we will go into the Man City game with at least a 15-point lead.

"The first half we did well, second half we give credit to Sunderland because they gave it a real go. I thought we had lost David de Gea for a moment, he was out for a few minutes, but he got up and has played a really great part for us.

"I think the players have galvanised themselves - the team spirit, the concentration, the focus in every game. That's 25 wins in 30 league games, which is a record. That's all down to the efforts of the players."

United also collected a sixth successive clean sheet on Wearside, much to the delight of Ferguson who saw his side ship an uncharacteristic amount of goals at the start of the campaign.

He added: "The concentration is much better. Earlier in the season we were losing goals but we have got defenders back - Chris Smalling, Phil Jones coming back helps, Jonny Evans, Rio (Ferdinand) and Vida (Nemanja Vidic). Your selection, two from those five, makes it much easier for us."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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