Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson played down their scratchy first-half against Sunderland yesterday.

Louis Saha eventually hit United's winner after coming on after halftime and Ferguson explained: "In the first half our passing was far too slow.

"I think we lacked what Saha gives us. Although the passing and possession was comfortable, we weren't making any chances through it. The front four had never played with each other before.

"Anderson played his first game, Tevez played through on his own and I think he's better when he's playing behind someone, Eagles is a young lad, Nani too. It's new for them so there was a lack of understanding, and naturally you would expect that."