Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed Manchester United could only struggle to victory after taking an early lead against West Ham.
Robin van Persie put United ahead after just 33 seconds – the fastest goal of the Premier League season so far – but they couldn’t add to it.
Ferguson was pleased with the way his side held onto the lead, but they could have made the task easier for themselves.
“It was a great start and hopefully you go on from such a great start but we never quite finished it off,” he said.
“They had skirmishes around the box and played high balls in there but you’ve got to defend them really well.
“They had a few blocked shots and that kind of thing but, in the main, we did defend very well.”
The win was United’s second in five days, after beating Queens Park Rangers 3-1 on Saturday, and kept them on top of the table.
And with Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea struggling to a second consecutive 0-0 draw, Manchester City are now United’s closest rivals.
“We’ve got the three points and are still ahead in the league,” added Ferguson.
“Chelsea drawing means it draws us away from them a little bit further. City are still on our tails so it’s going to be a long season.”