Man United 1 West Ham 0: It’s going to be a long season, warns Ferguson
Man United 1 West Ham 0: Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Red Devils are set for a "long season" after a narrow win at Old Trafford
Sir Alex Ferguson believes it will be a “long season” after Manchester United stayed a point clear of rivals Manchester City at the top of the table courtesy of a slender victory over West Ham United.
Robin van Persie scored inside 36 seconds at Old Trafford after he flicked the ball over Hammers defender Winston Reid before the striker’s shot was deflected past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
West Ham striker Andy Carroll had a chance to equalise on the half-hour mark but the England international fired his first-time volley over the crossbar.
Rooney came close to extending the Red Devils’ lead in the 59th minute but was denied by Jaaskelainen, while United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard produced a superb save to prevent Carlton Cole from scoring a late equaliser.
“We’ve got the three points and are still ahead in the league,” Ferguson told United’s website.
“Chelsea drawing means it draws us away from them a little bit further. City are still on our tails so it’s going to be a long season.”
He added: “It was a hard night and we played a lot of good football but we never quite finished them off. West Ham fought really hard and made it difficult for us.
“It was a great start and hopefully you go on from such a great start but we never quite finished it off.
“If you know you’ve taken the lead after one minute and we’ve had 90-odd minutes with injury time added on [to keep the clean sheet].
“They had skirmishes around the box and played high balls in there but you’ve got to defend them really well.
“They had a few blocked shots and that kind of thing but, in the main, we did defend very well. Evans, Smalling and Rafael, in particular, had fantastic nights.”