Anders Lindegaard has denied allegations that the celebration of Sir Alex Ferguson's 25-year anniversary at Old Trafford affected Manchester United's players in Saturday's tightly-contested 1-0 victory over Sunderland.

Instead, the 27-year-old goalkeeper, who stepped in to the Red Devils line-up ahead of David De Gea, blamed a failure to play at a high enough tempo as the reason behind the scrappy, but dogged performance.

A host of tributes prior to the game made for a memorable occasion, epitomised by the unveiling of the club's north stand, which was renamed in honour of Ferguson - the man who has delivered 24 major domestic and European titles during his tenure.

The Danish international was thrilled that the Manchester United players could help make the manager's day even more special, with another three points against the Black Cats, and praised the defensive side of the team's display.

"It says it all," says Lindegaard. "One of the biggest stands in the world is called Sir Alex Ferguson. I would be thrilled if I could have just one seat out there called Anders Lindegaard's seat.

"He has created this club almost from the bottom and he's the biggest manager in football history. We deserved to win and to reward the manager on his 25th anniversary with a clean sheet and a win is very good."

The match itself was certainly not one of the best of Ferguson's reign, but the reigning Barclays Premier League champions dominated both possession and chances, and the only goal of the game went their way just before half-time when Wes Brown headed into his own net to gift his former club the lead.

"Some of the wisest words I've learned since I came here came from the manager, and that's 'play the game, not the occasion,'" Lindegaard continued.

"We've tended to slow down our pace when we've played opponents in a lower gear than ourselves. We have to do that better.

"I think we played very well defensively, we didn't let Sunderland have any chances almost the whole game. It's maybe the best we've played defensively all season, but there's still room for improvement."

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#Premier League
#Anders Lindegaard
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