Real Madrid 1 Man United 1: We’ve got a great chance now, declares Sir Alex
Real Madrid 1 Man United 1: Sir Alex Ferguson believes the draw leaves his side with a "great chance" of reaching the last eight
Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Manchester United’s draw at Real Madrid has set his side up with a “great chance” of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.
Danny Welbeck gave the Red Devils the perfect start at the Bernabeu as the England international nodded home Wayne Rooney’s corner.
But Cristiano Ronaldo punished his former employers when he leapt above Patrice Evra and thundered a header past David De Gea in the 30th minute.
Ferguson felt that the game could have gone either way but says his side are well-placed to reach the quarter-finals after netting an away goal.
“I’ve got to be pleased,” Ferguson told Sky Sports. “The players have dug in and got a result. It takes us back to Old Trafford with a great chance.
“It’s very open. I think we’ll score at Old Trafford. We know they’re a tremendous counter-attacking team. We’ve got a big job on our hands but it’s definitely within our grasp.”
Ferguson had nothing but praise for Ronaldo after watching the Portugal international net against his old club.
He said: “What an unbelievable header. You can’t stop that.
“It was maybe difficult for Cristiano playing against us, his old team. Maybe there was a little bit of emotion attached to it for him because he spent six great years with us – but he’s still a big threat for them.
“When he gets the ball, you’re praying more than anything.”
The Scot was disappointed to see his side pegged back by Jose Mourinho’s side in the first half and rued the visitors’ inability to convert their chances, with Robin van Persie missing two opportunities in the closing stages.
“There were chances at both ends,” he added. “David De Gea has made three or four terrific saves but we’ve missed some really good chances ourselves.
“The disappointing part for me was that we sat back too much in the first half. They got a lot of players around the edge of the box and that’s not healthy. It was unlike us in many ways.”
He added: “All in all, we’ve created a lot of chances, we’ve played some good attacking football at times but have not had the possession that we should have had.”