Ferguson content with point for Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson was happy to take a point after his Manchester United side were rescued by Edwin van der Sar and the woodwork at Sunderland.

United were subjected to a first-half battering at the Stadium of Light but escaped with a goalless draw, their fourth successive away stalemate in the Barclays Premier League.

Either side could have snatched victory at the death but Ferguson was not unhappy with the result.

"Sunderland had the most chances in the game and I have to say we were fantastic defensively," said Ferguson, whose side slipped a place to third after the weekend's action.

"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."

The Black Cats' best chances saw Boudewijn Zenden hit the post and Van der Sar make a vital save from Steed Malbranque.

In-form Rafael van der Vaart struck twice as Tottenham came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

Marc Albrighton put the visitors ahead after good work by Emile Heskey but Van der Vaart ended Gerard Houllier's winning start as Villa boss with an impressive double.

"He's started well; he's going well; he's going great," said manager Harry Redknapp of his £8million deadline day signing from Real Madrid.

Everton won for the first time this season as an own goal from Roger Johnson and a late Tim Cahill header ended Birmingham's year-long run without home defeat.

Victory at St Andrew's lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three and planted their arch-rivals Liverpool there instead.

Manager David Moyes said: "People who have watched us said our performances have not merited where we are in the league.

"The players needed to see the way we were playing was going to get them rewards points-wise - and we got it."

Wigan were also 2-0 winners as goals from Jordi Gomez and Hugo Rodallega at the DW Stadium saw off Wolves, who had captain Karl Henry sent off for a horror tackle.

"I've no argument at all with the red card," said Wolves boss Mick McCarthy when asked about Henry's 11th-minute challenge on Gomez.

Jon Walters scored his first goal for Stoke in a 1-0 win over Blackburn at the Britannia Stadium while James Morrison cancelled out a Johan Elmander striker to earn West Brom a home point against Bolton.

West Ham's Frederic Piquionne denied Fulham a first away win in 13 months by equalising after Clint Dempsey had given the visitors the lead at Upton Park.

However it was not enough to prevent the Hammers slipping to the bottom of the table.

"The position in the league now is not important because one win can take you up four or five places," said upbeat manager Avram Grant.