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Premier League

Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United put in 'a display of real champions' against West Ham

United came from behind twice in 2-2 draw at Upton Park

Sir Alex Ferguson felt his Manchester United side did enough to take all three points at West Ham last night despite having to come from behind twice to claim a 2-2 draw at Upton Park.

A controversial Robin van Persie equaliser earned United a share of the spoils, after the Hammers had fought hard to put themselves in a winning position.

Ricardo Vaz Te and Mohamed Diame struck for the Hammers with Antonio Valencia scoring United's first before half-time and Van Persie burying a 77th-minute strike, although the Dutchman appeared to be offside in the build-up.

The result edges United closer to a 20th league title but Ferguson felt his side did enough to win the game, only to be thwarted by some smart goalkeeping from the experienced Jussi Jaaskelainen.

"We were the team that was going to win it," Ferguson told MUTV.

"I think their goalkeeper saved them in the last 20 minutes. He made great saves from Robin and Chicharito (Javier Hernandez), and Wayne Rooney had a shot cleared off the line.

"Everything was happening around their penalty box but we couldn't finish them off. "

"We had enough time to get a winner but maybe we needed a bit of composure to take a touch on the ball. One or two wanted to shoot earlier rather than take a pass.

"We probably deserved more, but in the context of such a physical game, I think we should be proud of them. It was a display of real champions."

The result means United have won one of their last three league games but leaves them as heavy favourites to recapture the Premier League crown.

Phil Jones, who played in midfield alongside Michael Carrick for the duration of the match, remains confident of collecting his first title and was pleased with the battling qualities the players showed against West Ham.

"We've been confident throughout the season and nothing is going to change now," the England international said.

"We've got a big game against Aston Villa on Monday night and I'm sure, if we can pick up three points there, it will stand us in great stead for Arsenal.

"We knew we were going to be put under pressure with a lot of high balls and I think Rio [Ferdinand] and [Nemanja] Vidic dealt with it well.

"It was a good point in the end. West Ham are no pushovers with big, strong players and I thought we coped with it."

Diame's goal 10 minutes into the second half was a fantastic strike from the edge of the area and would have been a worthy match-winner had it not been for Van Persie's intervention.

The Senegal international has been highly impressive in patches this season and believes the draw will give the team momentum to finish the campaign well.

"We gave a strong performance," Diame told West Ham's official website.

"We are working together to try to get the results and to keep the ball and we were happy to get another point. We need to keep going like this until the end of the season, we will keep going until the final day and will try to finish as high up as possible in the league.

"It is good for our confidence that we played well and we have good players. We are playing well the moment so we need to keep it going and then we can prepare for next season.

"Once we know we're going to stay up we can start to think about next season and try to make a good team for then.

"We are going to give everything to try to finish in the top 10. It would be a good present for the fans and for ourselves and would show the people how good we can be. We're going to keep going and keep working every week and try to bring more points."

Hammers' boss Sam Allardyce could yet find himself in hot water with the Football Association for his post-match comments regarding Van Persie's goal.

The 58-year-old claimed assistant referee Harry Lennard had cost his side a "famous victory" and questioned the level of officiating when compared to the level of football on show.

Allardyce was fined £8,000 earlier this season for comments made after his side's FA Cup third round replay defeat at Old Trafford.