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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

o credit to Brendan for playing an innovative 'False No.1' for the first half of the season?

balls-to-monty
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

I

ve been really impressed by Adrian when I've seen West Ham matches. Really good keeper and has earnt the 'Ammers many a point this season. Wouldn't swap Lloris for anyone either, he's currently far too good for us.

dryice
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

H

ow is Mignolet, most PL clean sheets this season, not a part of this list? Ridiculous!

mahzaib aziz
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

Footer 365

Champions League: Real Madrid's Bale and Benzema fit for Juventus clash

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema should be fit for Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final first-leg clash at Juventus.

Manchester United confirm tour of US in 2015

Manchester United have confirmed they will face Barcelona, PSG, Club America and San Jose Earthquakes on a US tour this summer.

Nigel Pearson warns Leicester winning run is worth nothing yet

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is delighted to be out of the Premier League's bottom three but has warned his players they have achieved nothing yet.

Mail Box

Is Mrs Mediawatch A Brighton Fan?

The Mailbox stands firmly in Bournemouth's corner, Jose Mourinho is defended in force and Manchester City would want him if he was sacked at Chelsea...

Mourinho A 'Motivator Of Idiots'

The Mailbox asks whether Jose Mourinho is really that special or is he just 'a motivator of idiots?' And strikers don't come through at top clubs...apparently.

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