Ferguson praises Manchester United perseverance

Sir Alex Ferguson praised his side's fortitude after Manchester United came from behind to draw 1-1 at Birmingham.

United trailed at half-time to a Cameron Jerome goal despite dominating for large periods and needed a controversial own goal from Scott Dann to earn a share of the spoils.

However, Ferguson was unhappy with referee Mark Clattenburg's decision to send off Darren Fletcher for a second bookable offence after a challenge on Jerome.

"To lose the goal just before half-time after dominating the game was a real sickener.

"But the most important thing is to persevere in situations like that. We have got the experience to do that.

"But this is a tough league. Birmingham have really improved since they have come into this division."

Ferguson then turned his attention to Clattenburg, saying: "That referee did the Arsenal-Tottenham game earlier in the season and you needed to hit someone with an axe before he booked anyone in that game.

"There were some wonderful and weird decisions. The linesman gives

offside for our goal - and it's an own goal!"

Blues boss Alex McLeish praised the way his side put a poor first half behind them to extend their unbeaten league run to a club record 12 games.

He said: "The dressing room was very noisy at half-time because the players knew they had not reached the standards of previous games.

"But we got a great response. We were fortunate to be leading at half-time but we were a different animal in the second half."

Arsene Wenger believed his side fully deserved the point Tomas Rosicky's last-minute strike earned in the 2-2 draw against Everton at the Emirates.

Leon Osman headed the visitors into a deserved lead but the midfielder deflected Denilson's shot past Tim Howard.

Steven Pienaar's breakaway goal looked to have won it, only for Rosicky level in the second minute of stoppage time.

Wenger said: "It is an important goal because it shows the spirit of the team right until the last minute.

"With three minutes to go Everton had three or four corners and we didn't get out of the box. At that time I would have signed for a point.

"But we kept going and in the end we got that point which rewards the efforts we produced.

"We didn't produce the quality we are used to in our team play, we were a little bit flat, but the spirit was there."

Toffees boss David Moyes, whose side are now unbeaten in six league games, said: "Against Arsenal you have to take the chances.

"But the performance was terrific.

"We have played well in the last few weeks, but it's the point about being ruthless."