It means the Reds need just four wins from the remaining eight league games, the next of which is City’s visit on 8 April, to win back a title lost in such heartbreaking fashion last season.
“The players have galvanised themselves,” Sir Alex added. “They’ve shown a team spirit and focus in every game. It’s also 25 wins in 30 league games, which is a record, and that’s all down to the efforts of the players. It was an important win."
Van Persie has stated he'll be claiming the decisive strike and, though Sir Alex isn't concerned who it's credited to, he's happy the Dutch striker is in contention after seven United games without a goal.
"There’s a case for it being an own goal but it was a wicked drive by him," Sir Alex said. "It was a fantastic shot – I don’t know whether it was going in but it was certainly too much for the goalkeeper to handle.
"Scoring for Holland in the midweek internationals helped him. When strikers don’t score for a few games they think they’re never going to; when they do it can set them off again."
Sir Alex was speaking to Sky Sports and MUTV.