Sir Alex Ferguson was pleased with the result if not the performance after Manchester United’s 2-0 victory against Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
Both the Reds’ goals – one from Dimitar Berbatov, one from Antonio Valencia – came in an entertaining first half, but the second period lacked drama as both teams took their foot off the gas.
“We were a bit casual and lackadaisical in all departments of the team, apart from our two centre-backs who were very good,” Sir Alex said. “In the first half there was some very good football and we could maybe have scored a couple more. But in the second half we became wasteful in our possession.
“We could have suffered because of that and on another day we may have done. But we got through it and that’s important. At this stage of the season winning is the name of the game.
Three points was always going to be the aim against a Fulham side with the worst away record in the league. Even so, the visitors were no pushovers and actually started the game brightest.
“If you look at their team they very seldom make changes. It’s normally the same XI every week – that gives them consistency and organisation and they can be hard to break down.”
In the end, United’s two goals were enough to seal victory and send United 10 points clear of nearest rivals Arsenal. Just as pleasing for the manager, however, was the number of players he now has at his disposal as the Reds chase glory in three different competitions.
Indeed, Sir Alex made eight changes for the game against Fulham and will no doubt shuffle his pack again for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Chelsea.