Sir Alex Ferguson praised United’s attacking intent but lamented his side’s inability to win by a more convincing margin after the Reds beat West Brom 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Ever the perfectionist, the boss felt Sunday’s comfortable win over the 10-man Baggies could have been sealed earlier than the 71st minute, when Wayne Rooney struck his second of the game to see off Roy Hodgson’s side.
“It was a great performance,” Sir Alex told MUTV. “We took a bit of time to get the rhythm of the game right but once we got that we played some exciting stuff and some really good football. We could have scored a lot of goals today. If there is a criticism then that is it. But we produced a stern performance; it was determined and there was a great will to win. I am really pleased with that part.
“We created a lot of chances and missed them. It becomes worrying because you need the second one to take the pressure off you. Fortunately we got the second goal and we still missed chances after that, but we kept our drive for the whole game, which was good. The players didn’t stop; they tried to score from every attacking situation, which is always pleasing.”
Sir Alex also expressed his delight at Wayne Rooney’s scoring form after the United striker netted his 25th and 26th goals of the season, moving the England international closer to his record tally of 34, achieved during the 2009/10 campaign.
“If he gets to 40, I’ll be absolutely delighted because we’ll be in business then. He’s on a hot streak and he does these things. His first goal was fantastic. I thought he would’ve been offside because it was so clear but when you see the timing of his run, it was fantastic and a really good finish.”
Sunday’s match produced a second half cameo for French youngster Paul Pogba, who replaced Paul Scholes on 72 minutes to make his first appearance since rumours of a move away from Old Trafford began to circulate in the media.
Speaking after the match, the boss shedded light on the situation. “The boy is still trying to make his mind up but he knows where he should be. He has shown again today the potential he has got and he is a first-team player, there is no question about that.”
Fresh from hitting a match-winning double against West Brom, Wayne Rooney says United are exactly where they want to be in the Barclays Premier League table - and deservedly so.
The striker’s fifth goal in a week, allied to Manchester City’s surprise defeat at Swansea, took the Reds to the head of the table and now, with 10 games to go, the champions are reluctant to relinquish the perch.
"It’s where you want to be and it’s where you want to finish," Rooney told MUTV. “It’s nice to be there now. I don’t think we’ve had the credit we deserve over the last few months.
"Fair enough, our form in Europe has been disappointing. But in the Premier League we’ve had very tough games and played a lot of the big teams. Sometimes we haven’t been at our best but we’ve got the wins.
"It’s great credit to the team for the hard work and spirit we’ve shown to keep tallying up those points. I think we fully deserve to be top."
United have shown admirable patience to overturn Manchester City’s five-month stint at the head of the table, and similar patience was on show in Sunday’s victory over Roy Hodgson’s Baggies.
"They came here and made it difficult for us," conceded Rooney. "They got a lot of men behind the ball. So getting the goal in the first half helped settle us down and we could have scored a lot of goals today. But the most importatnt thing was the three points.
"Sometimes you need to keep your head and keep your patience. We managed to do that and create a fewchances and thankfully I got the goal before half-time which settled us.
"We had chances and we were just thinking, "We need to take one". Anything can happen - they can have a half chance or a breakaway. We knew we needed to get that second goal. It was vitally important we did that and then, from there, we really saw the game out."