Sir Alex Ferguson Admits Goalless Draw With Marseille In Champions League Could Prove A Dangerous Scoreline For Manchester United

Scot praises Smalling & Evra & is confident of progression
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted his side’s goalless draw with Marseille in the Champions League could prove dangerous, but insists he is confident his side can progress at the expense of the French champions.

The Premier League leaders had few sights of goal in a game devoid of chances, and the Scot admitted that the contest at the Stade Velodrome had failed to meet his pre-match expectations.

"The game was a disappointing game to me," he told ITV Sport.

"The pitch was lively, but they made sure they didn’t want to lose a goal and that was an example of it at the end."

When asked if 0-0 was a dangerous scoreline, Ferguson added: "It can be if you lose a goal at home, but for us it's about winning the game. If we win the game, we’re through. I think we have a good chance."

The Old Trafford outfit have previously been eliminated on two occasions - by Monaco and Real Madrid - after a goalless draw away from home in the first leg, but the boss remains resolute that playing the second leg at home puts the advantage in United's favour.

"You always worry, at this stage of the season, because it's always good teams you face," said Ferguson.

"We should have one or two players back, as will they, but we can't take anything for granted and we won't be doing that.

"Monaco was 14 years ago, but with any 0-0 at this stage, you know that away goals count.

"But you have to say that Manchester United at home, we have a good chance. I don't care if it's 10-9."

The United boss also thought Marseille should have been reduced to 10 men late on when Wayne Rooney appeared to have been tugged back by Stephane Mbia when running through on goal.

When asked if there should have been a sending off, the Scot added: "I think so, [Marseille were] very lucky, the referee was in a good position and I don’t know why he didn’t give us a free-kick and then the decision afterwards is straightforward - it’s a red card."

Yet despite the lack of a goal threat from his side, Ferguson did reserve special praise for his defenders, particularly Chris Smalling who replaced the injured Rio Ferdinand and put in another composed display.

"He [Smalling] was excellent again," he said. "The boy’s improving all the time, he wants to be a player, he likes defending and today he gave a tremendous display of centre-back play."

Ferguson also praised full-back Patrice Evra, who endured jeers from the crowd for his part in France's disappointing World Cup campaign, saying: "He [Evra] got a bit of abuse, that’s to be expected, it didn’t affect his game."

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