Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fergie: Great result, poor display

Fergie: Great result, poor display

Sir Alex Ferguson was relieved after Manchester United overcame Italian champions Inter Milan despite a lackluster display.

The Red Devils booked their place in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League with two goals four minutes into either half.

Nemanja Vidic headed the holders into the lead before Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the win when he nodded in Wayne Rooney's delightful cross shortly after the break.

Inter had their chances too with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano both hitting the woodwork.

"It was the type of match where we had to play a different type of football," Ferguson told Sky Sports 2.

"Inter showed fantastic experience at times and showed that South American mentality and were very difficult to break down.

"The end result was very good. Good result, not a great performance."

The close nature of the tie did not surprise the Scot as his side were made to work for the win.

"When I first heard the draw I thought it was the hardest," he added.

"We played a team at its maximum potential in terms of experience and they played to their maximum. To get through that is a big plus because we will be better in the next round. We can be better."

United join Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the quarter-finals as Premier League teams once again showed their superiority in Europe.

Mourinho: Inter had no luck

Mourinho: Inter had no luck

Jose Mourinho tried to put a positive spin on Inter Milan's exit at the hands of holders Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Two goals - both four minutes from the start of each half - put paid to Inter's chances of an unlikely upset at Old Trafford.

Althought Mourinho accepted United won on merit, he also thought Inter did not get the rub of the green.

"You have to say that United deserved to win," Mourinho said.

"They scored two goals over the course of the two games and we have to accept that, in football, the team that wins always deserves it.
Great match

"But I don't think we should be negative about my team's display. We played a great match against a great team. We just lacked that little bit of luck you need to win, that little thing that makes difference between winning and not winning.

"We went one down after couple of minutes but we had three chances to score in the first half, more than our opponents, and we hit the bar from three metres out.

"In the second half we lost another goal but we continued to play and we showed great character.

"Always when you talk about luck it seems as if you are trying to forget about the quality of the opponent.

"That's not true United are a quality team and they showed exactly why they are European champions.

"But not all defeats are the same. The players came here with no psychological barriers, they played a great game and I hope they have the same feeling."

After seeing this current United team close up during the two legged last-16 tie the Portuguese boss believes that they are good enough to win all five trophies this season.

"They have basically the same team as when I was at Chelsea," he highlighted.

"There is only Berbatov who is new. But they have been together for four or five years. They are not young anymore, the age average is 26-27 if you forget Giggs and Scholes.

"They are in the right moment to be at the top of their careers. They reached the maximum level.

"They have experience, quality, great physical condition and intensity in their game. That is what the Champions League is about. So yes, I think they can do it."

Despite the defeat the former Chelsea boss believes he has seen his side turn a corner in Europe after a number of below-par performances in the knockout stages over the last few seasons.

"If Inter had a fear problem in the Champions League before, today we showed that we don't have it anymore."

The 'Special One' admitted that his side lacked a certain element when it came to competing at the top level but remained upbeat by vowing to retain their Serie A crown.

"We are missing something, but I'll say this to the club. In any case, now we will surely win the Scudetto"