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Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Saturday, 16 October 2010 19:44 UK

Sir Alex Ferguson defends Man Utd keeper Van der Sar


Man Utd threw points away - Phelan

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson refused to blame keeper Edwin van der Sar after his error in the 2-2 draw with West Brom at Old Trafford.

Van der Sar spilled a cross to allow Somen Tchoyi to grab the Baggies an equaliser after they had been 2-0 down.

"Edwin van der Sar has probably been playing for 25 years and was probably in primary school the last time he made a mistake like that," said Ferguson.

"You have to just wipe it [the mistake] off the slate."

Ferguson did not comment on starting with Wayne Rooney on the bench after the striker, who came on after 71 minutes, had contradicted him over having had an ankle injury earlier in the season.

Old Trafford point delights Di Matteo

But the Old Trafford boss did cite his side's inability to make the most of their chances as a reason for having to settle for a point.

Javier Hernandez and Nani had put United ahead but, in the second half, the Baggies pulled one back when Patrice Evra deflected in a low driven free-kick from Chris Brunt before Tchoyi made the most of Van der Sar's error to equalise.

"It is an inexplicable result and obviously frustrating," said Ferguson, who was given the added blow of Ryan Giggs having to go off with a hamstring injury.

"I suppose there are two ways of looking at it. If we were in the middle of the league we could say we were still undefeated. For us it is not good enough."

He added: "Sometimes it is better to be one goal in front than two. You keep your focus a bit more."

Tuckers Law

While Fergsuon blamed a lack of ruthlessness in attack for not killing off the game, United have struggled defensively so far this season.

They have conceded 11 goals in eight Premier League matches, which have included five draws, and they have let a two-goal lead slip on three occasions.

"It is not a defining result in terms of where the league is going to end up but we cannot keep doing that," said Ferguson.

West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo was only too happy to accept United's "gifts" as his side added the impressive result to a season in which they have also won at Arsenal.

"It was an afternoon of gifts," said Di Matteo.

"If Manchester United had got a third the game would probably have been over. But I thought it was a correct result.

"Every game has its own history, so I wasn't thinking about their results, but I just felt if we got one back, it might make them nervous."

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see also
Man Utd 2-2 West Brom
16 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Man Utd threw points away - Phelan
16 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Old Trafford point delights Di Matteo
16 Oct 10 |  West Brom

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