Boss salutes his "brilliant" players

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed his players after a splendid team performance vanquished Chelsea and moved United to the cusp of a record 19th league title.

The Reds were roared on by an ecstatic Old Trafford crowd and made an electrifying start with goals from Javier Hernandez and skipper Nemanja Vidic. Frank Lampard's effort set up a nerve-wracking finale as United passed up several opportunities to score a third goal that would have clinched the three points.

"We do it all the time, take it to the very wire," said Sir Alex. "We could've scored six in the second half!

"We had lots of chances but we expected a tough game and got a tough game. I thought we were brilliant and it was a fantastic start. Petr Cech made two fantastic saves but it was a good team performance. When we gave the ball away for their goal, understandably it was a bit nervous but the fans helped us a lot.

"We kept creating chances and Wayne Rooney could've scored six. Credit to the players because they deserve it."

Sir Alex felt his side were denied a couple of penalties after a Frank Lampard handball and John Terry's challenge on Antonio Valencia but it mattered little in the end.

"They were clear penalty kicks and I can only say if we end up winning the title we didn't need the referees to give us anything and that's even more pleasing," he added.

The manager is convinced his players will finish the job by getting the point required to make certain of the title.

"We just need one point now and I think, knowing the players, they'll get their point - there's no doubt about that.

"To win the 19th title would be fantastic. To be the most successful team in the country in terms of championship victories... the minute we won for the first time in 1992, the door opened for us. It's an incredible achievement."

Now the Champions League final inevitably moves into the boss' thoughts as United chase another remarkable double on the domestic and European front.

"In the next few weeks we've got to be doing some work on Barcelona," he added. "But we've got to get a point at Blackburn [first].

"Blackburn are fighting relegation and Blackpool as well, so we've got 100 per cent respect for those two great clubs. They're neighbours and I don't see them going down but we have to do our job and, if we get a point, I'll be delighted."