Man Utd boss Ferguson: Van der Sar was magnificent
The 39-year-old has not enjoyed the best of campaigns.
He broke two fingers during a pre-season game in Munich, injured his knee against Everton in November and then had to endure the horror of wife Annemarie suffering a stroke in their native Holland just before Christmas.
But, fit and available after a week's warm-weather training in Qatar, Ferguson had no hesitation in drafting Van der Sar straight back in for only his eighth appearance of the season.
"Edwin was magnificent," he said. "He was steady, his decision-making was great and so was his use of the ball.
"Tomasz Kuszczak has done really well for us over the last few weeks and it is no slight on him to say that Edwin made a difference.
"He is 39 and has 139 caps, two European Cup winners medals and been in four European finals.
"You could go on and on about his experience and it shows."