Sir Alex Ferguson: Manchester United played like champions to recover against West Ham

Scot hails his side's resilience after overcoming two-goal deficit at Upton Park and reserves praise for Antonio Valencia whilst choosing not to criticise match referee...
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes his side gave a title-winning performance against West Ham, after they overcame a two-goal deficit in the first half to defeat the Hammers 4-2 at Upton Park.

The Scot is confident that his team's second half performance shows they have the mentality to be champions this season, despite struggling with injuries and less than inspiring performances.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ferguson said: “We played like champions today, and we played to our ability.

"It’s not an easy place to come with the fight for relegation and that result might put them [West Ham] in trouble.

“That was a championship winning performance.”

Ferguson served the second of his five-game touchline ban in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, yet his second half intervention which saw Patrice Evra replaced by Javier Hernandez helped United extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.

“It was eventful,” he continued. “Being two goals down at half time was a travesty considering the possession and chances created in the first half.

“We kept making chances in the first half, they couldn’t get the ball off Valencia in the first half and he delivered two or three fantastic balls, he had the opposition on toast really.

“We had to go for it, bring in Hernandez and put Gigs to left back. Goal difference didn’t matter, we needed to get something.

“Second half when Chicharito came on, he gave you pace and the running behind line we needed.

“There was a strong bench today with Nani, [Dimitar] Berbatov and [Michael] Owen. I thought if it was still 2-2 in last 10 minutes, then I would bring Michael on and go for it - going for it is vital to our club.”

The 69-year-old is currently serving a ban following comments made about Martin Atkinson in Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, yet took a more sympathetic outlook to Lee Mason’s decision to award West Ham a penalty and not to send off Nemanja Vidic following a foul on Demba Ba.

“The second penalty kick was outside the box, so that was an unfortunate decision for us, but then Vidic could’ve been sent off for the challenge on Ba, so we got a lucky break.

“Although I did think Vidic was fouled at the start of that challenge - overall it was six and two threes - perhaps a red would have been harsh.”

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