Harry Redknapp’s Spurs, who were looking for their first win against United in 10 years, looked the more dangerous in possession but failed to deliver in the final third, with the best chance of the afternoon falling to Peter Crouch early in the first half.
From there on the United rearguard coped efficiently with any Spurs attacks as captain Nemanja Vidic led by example with a superb defensive display for the unbeaten league leaders.
“We defended very well, they never gave us any trouble with their attacking,” Sir Alex said. “We had one or two good opportunities at times when we got to the last third of the field but we just didn’t quite have the cutting edge.
“The kind of pressure we were under was just long balls into the box really. With Ferdinand and Vidic as your centre-backs you know you can cope with that. They were fantastic, the whole back four did really really well.”
The United boss, whose side moved level on points with second-placed Manchester City having played two games less than their derby rivals, added: “In the context of Tottenham’s home record this season and the performances they have given, we have got to take it as a good point for us.
“It’s about winning games and keeping your nerve and today, defensively, we kept our nerve. It was a decent point, I can’t complain.”
Referee Mike Dean showed seven yellow cards at White Hart Lane and United right-back Rafael looked unlucky to have been sent off after receiving his second booking for bringing down BenoÃƒÂ®t Assou-Ekotto.
But the United manager refused to be drawn on the incident after the final whistle. “I don’t need to discuss that, you can see for yourself,” he said. “I don’t need to discuss the referee.”
Spurs boss Redknapp, whose side remain in fifth place in the Premier League, agreed with Sir Alex’s assessment that defence prevailed in north London. He said: “Chances were few and far between. I thought we edged the game without creating too many clear-cut chances.
“They [Manchester United] are a Champions League winning team, they’ve played big games and defended for their lives in Europe. They came here and were difficult to beat.”
Redknapp added: “When they went to 10 men we couldn’t have been more open. We were as open as a barn door going for it.”
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