Sir Alex Ferguson praised his Manchester United team after they secured a 19th English Premier League title with a 1-1 draw at Blackburn.United had to come from behind at Ewood Park after an error from reserve goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak led to Brett Emerton’s opening goal in the 20th minute.
They looked to be heading for a costly shock defeat before Mexico international Javier Hernandez won a penalty after going down under a challenge from Rovers’ goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Wayne Rooney lashed home the spot-kick to make it 1-1 with 17 minutes remaining and United saw out the closing exchanges to capture their fourth title in five seasons.
“It was a fantastic performance by the lads and the supporters and for everybody connected with the club, it’s a great day today,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.
“It wasn’t an easy game. We went 1-0 down having given them a bad goal but we kept on and we don’t give in. It looked like it was not going to be our day. We’ve always had it difficult here.”
“It is a local derby and they are fighting for their lives, looking for that point, but we kept going and that’s a good quality.”
Rooney admitted nerves threatened to get the better of him as referee Phil Dowd delayed in awarding the penalty while consulting with an assistant.
“I was terrified, the ref took a long time to give it,” Rooney said.
“I had to compose myself. I’d been practising all week.”
“After the year I’ve had, with the ups and downs, this is for the fans and the team,” he added, referring to a high-profile contract dispute and revelations of marital infidelity.
Rooney also managed a dig at Liverpool after United passed their record of 18 English league titles.
“For me personally, being an Everton fan, to win a 19th title is special,” he said.
A 0-0 draw away to Blackburn cost United dear last season as Chelsea captured the league title by one point.
They could only manage a draw again on Saturday, but this time it was enough, with centreback Rio Ferdinand satisfied by the team’s performance.
“We missed out last year by a point and it was here we pretty much lost the league so it was nice to come back here and get it done,” Ferdinand said.
“We gave away a soft goal but we persevered and got our rewards.”
“It’s a better league this year. Teams have been beating each other from the bottom to the top which makes it more exciting for the fans.”