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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson felt his side came through a stern test at Everton on Saturday afternoon.

The champions were not at their best but did enough to get back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League after last week’s mauling by Manchester City. Everton had a number of chances to claim a point at Goodison Park but lacked a genuine cutting edge and Javier Hernandez’s 19th-minute tap-in proved decisive as United won 1-0.

Ferguson told TV reporters: “It was a hard game and we expected that because every time you come to Everton the crowd get behind them and show great enthusiasm. But in the main, in the first half particularly, we did very well and in the second half we defended well and that was the pleasing aspect for me, winning 1-0.”

He added: “We decided to play Park (Ji-sung) in a wide position and he did very well for us but we still created the best chances in the game – Park the very first minute. Everton put in a lot of crosses but we managed to get them away and (David) De Gea didn’t have much to do really.”

Everton went close in the first half when Leighton Baines hit the bar from a free-kick while a powerful shot from Jack Rodwell hit De Gea on the head as he attempted to save.

“They were unlucky to hit the bar maybe – we were a bit lucky with that one, it was a fantastic free-kick,” Ferguson added. “We rode our luck with that one but we battled in the second half and got the result we wanted.”

Everton manager David Moyes was disappointed his side did not get anything out of the game.

The Toffees have now lost five out of six games in all competitions but, especially after taking Chelsea to extra time in the Carling Cup in midweek, Moyes was proud of their efforts.

He said: “I think we are unlucky not to get at least a point out of the game. We played well and Manchester United had few attempts, especially in the second half. I thought we looked the stronger side in the second half.

“Maybe it was just that bit of quality in the final third that we didn’t have. We tried to find a way to get a goal but it wasn’t to be. Great credit to the lads. We have gone toe to toe with Chelsea midweek, when we were unlucky not to go through, and done the same today.”

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