Ferguson content with Barca draw

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Ferguson content with Barca draw Empty Ferguson content with Barca draw

Post by sulehri on Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:47 am

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels his side are in a good position to progress to the Champions League final.

Ferguson content with Barca draw _44595345_ferguson203getty

His side missed a penalty but held firm to claim a 0-0 draw from the Nou Camp in the first leg against Barcelona.

And Ferguson said: "We sealed off the areas where teams don't normally do well against Barcelona.

"They didn't make a lot of chances. Going to Old Trafford at 0-0 we have a marvellous chance."

Cristiano Ronaldo side-footed wide from the spot after two minutes of the game and United were forced to spend much of the remaining time nullifying Barca's attacking threat.

But Ferguson added: "They had a lot of play around the box but our concentration was very good.

"On the negative side we should have done better with possession. We had opportunities to counter-attack but gave the ball away too easily.

"The way they play they always have an extra man in midfield so possession is always going to be in their favour.

"You have to show patience and quality and Barcelona have that, but we had the answers.

"At Old Trafford we have to impose ourselves more and I think we will."

Ferguson admitted he was surprised by Ronaldo's penalty miss.

He said: "Maybe it came too early. It was the first minute of the match and he leaned back a bit.

"He's disappointed but nevertheless he was magnificent."

Ronaldo had an appeal for a second penalty turned away when he went to ground under a challenge from Rafael Marquez.

He said: "I think he touched me. But the referee didn't give a penalty. I don't know why, I don't understand."

Ferguson added: "If you get one penalty in the Nou Camp you are doing well, to ask for two I'm not surprised it wasn't given."

Ronaldo vowed to make amends for his miss in the second leg, adding: "I've scored a few penalties in that side but today I didn't score - no problem. Now I'm going to score in Manchester."

Barca coach Frank Rijkaard felt the penalty miss was a turning point - even though it came so early in the game.

"The penalty miss was a decisive moment for us," said the Dutchman. "It was a bit of a wake-up call and after that we played well."

Rijkaard has come under increasing pressure this season as his side have fallen off the pace in La Liga and toiled in the Champions League.

But a lively performance against United was well received by the home crowd.

"In pure football terms it was not our best performance, but the team transmitted something special to the crowd and it was a great atmosphere," said Rijkaard.

"It was a very tactical game, Manchester played well on the counter-attack but did not give them any chances and they know we are capable of scoring at Old Trafford.

"It will not be easy, we are up against a very good team but if we concentrate and remain positive, we know we can do it. A goalless draw is not the best result and we have to score over there, but it is not going to be easy for them. We will have our chances."

Ferguson praised midfield Paul Scholes' contribution in his 100th appearance in the Champions League.

"His reading of the play outside the box was terrific," said Ferguson. "His interceptions were marvellous and he never gave the ball away."

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