Fergie Magnanimous In Victory
Sir Alex admitted that at times we were outplayed by Arsenal but praised his players' toughness. He even lauded the opponents!
'Arsenal were the better team in the first half,' he admitted.
'I thought we were nervous, I thought our passing was poor, I thought the confidence and the way we expressed ourselves was poor. I couldn`t wait for half-time.
'I had Anderson and Tevez to come on and when Arsenal scored it forced my hand. I thought we were fantastic after that.
'Wayne could have had a hat-trick, we played some good football and Arsenal had some good moments themselves. It was just an incredible game.
'I watched the Liverpool-Arsenal match and thought it was fantastic. But the quality of that game today was absolutely outstanding. You`ll not get a better game this year.'
What is interesting that though it's true they passed the ball much better and generally controlled the game, we had as many chances as they to take the lead. Both teams had strikers who could have scored at least two (Adebayor and Rooney) but they missed their chances.
I agree that the game was of a breathtakingly high quality, and full of excitement. After all the dire Grand Slam Sundays, this showed that even the big games can offer excitement and quality. And it's true that Arsenal played well - however, I have a sneaky suspicion that Fergie might not have been so magnanimous had we lost the game. He would probably be pointing at Adebayor's handball...
But not now.
'We`ve got over a nervous day today. We knew Arsenal are such a good team and there's been nothing between the clubs in the games we've played over the years.
'I think Arsenal are unlucky not to get something from this game. Edwin was fantastic, his confidence and experience shone through and it saved us at times really.
'Arsenal put everything into it, they gave their biggest effort, you couldn`t have asked for any more from them and yet we still managed to win it. So that was a big, big game for us today, a bit nervy at times, but we`ve come through it.
'We`ve got a week`s rest now so we can freshen up the players before Blackburn away. It`s a local derby and it`s always hard and then we`ve got Chelsea at Chelsea.
'I said if we won our next three games we`d win the league. We`ve won one of them, we`ve got two to go - if we win our next two games, we`re champions.'
Well, that's obvious. But it's much easier said than done. Winning at Blackburn is one thing - it's tough but we managed it last year -, winning at Chelsea is quite another: nobody managed to do it since 2004.
The race is very far from being over but we can now look forward to Chelsea's games on Monday and Thursday. Should they drop points in any of them, they will be in trouble.