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Page last updated at 19:20 GMT, Saturday, 17 January 2009

Ferguson delight as United go top

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson's side top the Premier League for the first time this season

Sir Alex Ferguson expressed satisfaction with Manchester United's 1-0 victory at Bolton Wanderers as his side went top of the Premier League.

Dimitar Berbatov's 90th-minute goal sealed the win as United displaced Liverpool at the top of the table.

But Ferguson warned that there was still plenty of hard work to do if they are to win their third title in a row.

"Being top is not decisive at this stage but it is always nice because it is the best place to be," he said.

United are now one point clear of Liverpool having played the same number of games.

Liverpool face Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Monday, but for now United top the Premier League table for the first time this season.

606: DEBATE
Keano-and-a-Cantona
"We have been playing catch-up in terms of fixtures for a while now. We still have another game in hand against Fulham on 14 February," said Ferguson.

"Only after that will we have a good idea of where we stand between Liverpool, Chelsea and ourselves."

Ferguson revealed that he had been about to take off Carlos Tevez, who played a key part in the build-up to Berbatov's goal, sending in a fine cross for the Bulgarian striker.

"I was ready to take Carlos off and then he makes a goal," said Ferguson.

"Danny Welbeck is a big lad and I just felt he might get us a goal from a cross. I am always prepared to gamble."

Up until Berbatov's goal, United had been frustrated, with Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in fine form for the hosts.

He denied Cristiano Ronaldo on several occasions while also saving well from Tevez and Berbatov.

But in the end their pressure told and Berbatov made the breakthrough.

"It shows that the concentration is good - you have to keep good concentration in the game and I think we're doing that very well," Ferguson stated.

"I thought we played well. Bolton are a very difficult team to play against and in a local derby you're always happy to win the match but we left it very, very late."

The Premier League and European champions were without Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney and had injury concerns over Carlos Tevez, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans in the build-up to the match.

But in the end all three played and Ferguson was delighted to have Evans available.

"He has been fantastic for us and did a great job again and Nemanja Vidic's performances have been magnificent," he enthused.

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see also
Bolton 0-1 Man Utd
17 Jan 09 |  Premier League


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