Roberto Mancini recently insisted that Manchester United's late goals were a sign of luck but the Red Devils boss hits back, saying that his side could be even further ahead
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Sir Alex retorted to reporters: "He's lucky they are only 12 points behind. Scoring late goals isn't lucky - we've only been doing it for 25 years. It's a terrible habit.”
United welcome La Liga champions Real Madrid and former United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford on Tuesday but insists that Saturday's clash against Norwich City remains a must-win affair.
"The league games are even more important because we don't want to give our immediate opponents an advantage," Sir Alex continued.
"That accentuates it more for me and that's why I place so much importance on Norwich because it's a game we must win. The similarities to 1999 are that our FA Cup run was a really hard one and our European ties were really hard.
"We were in a group with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, then we got a quarter-final against Inter and a semi-final against Juventus. This year the group stage was okay but we got Real Madrid straight up.
"In the FA Cup we've had Premier League teams all the time, which we also experienced in 1999. I don't think the difficult games will be a problem.
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Madrid's build-up to the Champions League clash will have included two meetings with Barcelona, and after watching them beat Jordi Roura's side 3-1 at Camp Nou on Tuesday in the Copa del Rey, Sir Alex is hugely impressed with Jose Mourinho's team.
"I was shocked," he revealed. "I thought Real Madrid were magnificent, I really did. They were absolutely brilliant and won well with Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil on the counterattack.
"But we always knew that Madrid are one of the best counterattacking teams in Europe, there's no question about that. That's what we'll be up against on Tuesday and that's why our preparations are centring around making sure their counterattack doesn't kill us."