Darren Fletcher hailed his side's ability to grind out results after Sunday's 2-1 defeat of Liverpool saw Manchester United return to the Premier League summit.
There was little pretty about United's 2-1 win at Old Trafford but Fletcher and his team-mates will care not on an afternoon in which Chelsea dropped points at Blackburn.
United's crucial victory was secured in the second half when Fletcher's magnificent cross was superbly converted by Park Ji-sung's diving header.
Fernando Torres gave the visitors a fifth-minute lead, only for Wayne Rooney to equalise in controversial fashion, tucking home the rebound from a penalty given for a Javier Mascherano foul on Antonio Valencia which had started outside the area.
The Scotland international hailed the character of Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who are chasing a record fourth successive championship.
"It was a difficult game, with not much football played," Fletcher told Sky Sports.
"You want to win the title with flowing football, but sometimes you have to grind out results and show character - that is what we did."
Fletcher maintained referee Howard Webb was right to give a penalty.
"I definitely thought it was a foul," said the United midfielder.
"He was pulling Valencia and the contact with his legs was right on the edge of the box.
"The keeper saved it, but Wazza (Rooney) is so composed that he was able to tap it in afterwards."
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