Ferguson praises patient United
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was pleased after his side moved to within goal difference of Manchester City on Tuesday.
Ferguson’s side defeated Stoke City 2-0 thanks to penalties from Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov while City were defeated 1-0 at Everton.
Those results saw last season’s league winners equal City on points, with only goal difference separating the top two.
“It’s been a good night,” Ferguson said.
“But it’s still only the last day in January. I always see March as the important month and we’ve got City away in April.”
Ferguson was happy with the performance, in particular the way his players moved the ball.
“We kept our composure and were patient,” he said.
“Okay, we won with two penalties, but the manner in which we played our football was the main thing.”
“I felt we kept up the consistency of passing the ball and moving. We had a few chances (to score), not a tremendous amount of chances but the important thing was to show confidence on the ball and we did that.”
“We scored with two penalties and we could have had two other penalties.”
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis was not happy with the decision to penalise fouls by Jermaine Pennant and Jon Walters on Park Ji-Sung and Antonio Valencia and award spot-kicks.
“When you come to the big clubs you need decisions to go for you and one or two decisions have not gone for us tonight,” Pulis said.
“Debatable… the two of them (penalties). The first one, Jermaine’s absolutely adamant that he’s touched the ball, he’s caught Evra’s foot afterwards, but he’s played the ball first.”
“And the second one, Valencia does very well. He runs across Jon Walters and then goes down. So you can see why the referee’s given the both off them, especially at Old Trafford.”
“It was a convincing performance and Stoke are not the easiest team to play against as we know.”
Interestingly there were two different penalty takers for United with Hernandez taking the first before Berbatov took over for the second.
The United boss also praised goalkeeper Ben Amos.
“Berbatov thought he was going to take the first one as I’d actually told him that before the game, but obviously ‘Chico’ (Hernandez) had different ideas,” Ferguson said.
“He takes the penalties for Mexico and took it terrifically. At half-time I had a word with him and said that Berbatov should be taking them so he took the next one.
“(Amos) showed great potential. He never flapped at anything. We played a lot of good football and scored two penalties but could have had two more.”