Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson pronounced himself content with a draw after seeing his side survive a first-half battering at Sunderland.

The Red Devils battled their way to a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light with keeper Edwin van der Sar making a vital save from Steed Malbranque and Bolo Zenden hitting a post as the Black Cats dominated before the break. Either side might have snatched victory at the death, but Ferguson was happy enough with a point on Wearside, their fourth successive Barclays Premier League draw on the road.

He said: "Sunderland had the most chances in the game and I have to say we were fantastic defensively. That's the area in which we have been leaking goals and throwing games away this season, so I am pleased with that. It was a very determined Sunderland team, their home record this season has been very, very good, so I am not pleased but I am satisfied."

Asked about his side's failure to date to win a league game on the road, Ferguson said: "It's a concern, the first three.

"I can't class today's as a disappointment because we had to battle to get the point today.

"But we have thrown the other three away."

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce's emotions were mixed as he looked back on a committed display, but also another missed opportunity to win for the first time as a manager against his former club and boss.

Even a 20-minute delay to the game after a pipe burst in the United dressing room did not dent the visitors' resilience.

Bruce said: "With a bit of luck... we have said that for two or three weeks now. However, if I am going to be critical, we have to probably take one of those chances. Against these teams, you don't get many. But we have taken all the big teams on and given as good as we got.

"Looking at it now, you are always delighted to take something from it. I have being going for years to try to beat him and I thought today might have been the day. We even tried to sabotage the toilets - that didn't quite work either."

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Topics:
#Sunderland
#Edwin Van der Sar
#Premier League
#Steve Bruce
#Alex
#Manchester United
#Steed Malbranque
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