Ferguson: Win is in our grasp

Sir Alex Ferguson believes victory is within Manchester United's grasp after their 1-1 draw at Real Madrid.

Last Updated: 14/02/13 at 13:12 Post Comment

Danny Welbeck's headed opener gave United the lead in their last 16 UEFA Champions League first leg in the Bernabeu and, while Cristiano Ronaldo equalised, Ferguson was content enough.

"There were a lot of incidents in the match," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "Chances at both ends. David de Gea has made three or four fantastic saves but we have missed some good chances ourselves.

"Their goalkeeper has made a really good save in the last minute and a good save from Van Persie which hit the bar. It was a really interesting game.

"The disappointing thing for me was that in the first half we sat off them. They got a lot of play on the edge of our box. It's not healthy that. It's not good to watch and it was unlike us.

"But we changed it around after the break and put Danny Welbeck up top on [Xabi] Alonso and that made a great difference. We had a good start to the second half.

"In all we've created a lot of chances in the match and [played] some good attacking football at times but not had the possession we should have had. I think they won the possession without question.

"But they're at home, it's a difficult place to come to and we're pleased with a result that takes us back to Old Trafford with a great chance."

Ferguson admitted he questioned the defending of Patrice Evra who was left flat-footed for Ronaldo's towering header but later decided the goal was virtually unstoppable.

"What a header," he said. "Unbelievable. You can't stop that. I came in at half-time and asked Patrice why he wasn't challenging for that but when I saw the replay I wondered what I was talking about.

"It was maybe difficult for Cristiano playing against us - his old team - because there were a lot of emotions attached to it as he was with us for six years. But he's still a big threat for them. When he gets the ball you're praying more than anything."

Asked how the tie stands now, Ferguson said: "It's very open. I think we'll score at Old Trafford but we know they are going to be a tremendous counter-attacking team so we've got a big job on our hands. But it's definitely within our grasp."

The manager was full of praise for Welbeck who some saw as a surprise selection. "He was marvellous," said Ferguson. "It is a pity he got cramp at the end of game, but he worked so hard.

"It was only his second goal of season. We expected more, but he is young. They found it difficult to handle him."

It was also a night to remember for goalkeeper de Gea, who has found himself under so much scrutiny recently.

"De Gea was excellent," Ferguson said. "He made three or four top saves. He has been improving all season.

"There was one save in the first half which he touched onto the post (from Coentrao) which was superb.

"I am pleased for him. He is an Atletico boy playing here in Madrid, but he has done well."

Ferguson revealed he left out skipper Nemanja Vidic as a direct consequence of United's Premier League encounter with Everton being shifted to last Sunday.

"If we had played on the Saturday, the extra day would have suited me, but he plays one game every eight or nine days and still has to manage his comeback from injury," said Ferguson.

"Rio is exactly the same, and the type of game on Sunday suited Vidic more."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Real Madrid the most valuable team in football ahead of Barcelona

Real Madrid have retained their place as the most valuable football team, despite a drop in figures, according to Forbes magazine.

Jose Mourinho agrees new Chelsea deal, claim reports

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has verbally agreed a two-year extension to his contract, according to reports.

Brendan Rodgers says he will be a better manager at Liverpool next season

Brendan Rodgers believes he "will be a better manager" next season, and has criticised the "short-termism" that has threatened to dislodge him at Liverpool.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company