Man United 4 Schalke 1: Ferguson ‘proud’ after reaching final

Manchester United manager hails "fantastic" night after Red Devils set up Barcelona showdown at Wembley

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, 4 MAY 2011, OLD TRAFFORD
team1
Man United
Valencia (26) Gibson (31) Anderson (72, 76)
4 – 1
team2
Schalke
Jurado (35)

Manchester United cruised past Schalke to set up another Champions League final against Barcelona.

First-half strikes from Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson followed by a second-half brace from Anderson helped secure a 6-1 aggregate win for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, and a place in the Wembley final later this month.

“They did me proud,” Ferguson said. “It was a semi-final and the fact it’s such an important game does create a bit of doubt in your mind of ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ but I’m glad we were vindicated.

“It’s fantastic for the club. We’re where we want to be. I’ve said many times we should have done better in Europe over the years and I think this team can win the cup.”

Ferguson insists his side will not be intimidated by Barcelona, who beat United in the Champions League final in 2009, when they meet again in London later this month.

“Their [Barcelona’s] performances are there for everyone to see but we’ve done our job well, Wembley is a neutral ground and we’ll be well prepared,” he continued.

“I don’t think we should be going there lacking confidence. Their form has been very good, we’re playing a fantastic team but there shouldn’t be a sense of terror. We can’t be frightened out of our skin. We’ve got to find a solution to playing against them.”

Meanwhile, United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who will retire in the summer, was thrilled with his side’s commanding display.

“It was perfect, after the first leg we were quite well set up to be able to make changes and keep the majority of players fresh for the big game on Sunday,” he said.

“We saw how emotional Barcelona were yesterday and maybe our reaction was a bit more subdued but Barca’s was because they have a big rivalry [against Real Madrid].

“Barcelona play exceptionally good football and of course it’s going to be difficult, they showed that in the final in 2009. We have to show we learned the lesson from that one and be better prepared.”

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