"He and the rest of them will think they’ve done a great job today, very well justified in terms of the performance and having to dig in deep to get that result."
Sir Alex admits he hopes Stoke do not go down, even though the defeat leaves the Potters in trouble following Sunderland's 3-0 win at Newcastle.
"I hope Stoke stay up," he insisted. "I think they’re a great club with fantastic support and a great manager. Tony Pulis is terrific, one of the best in the business. With the job he’s done here, he doesn’t deserve to be in the position they are in.
"They should be doing better but I hope they stay up and I think they will get enough points. There was a great determination about them and determination at this part of the season is a good thing to have. I really do hope they stay up."
As for the Reds, the message from the manager is clear: end the season in style.
"The responsibility and expectation is for Manchester United to win every game," he told Sky Sports. "I don't think any of the supporters would think any differently.
"Today was the start and we have got six games left. To go and win the next game is what we want to do."