Sir Alex Ferguson summed up Manchester United's task fairly succinctly. All they have to do is win.
After a goalless draw with Marseille at the Stade Velodrome on Wednesday night, United know a victory at Old Trafford in the second leg will see them into the quarter-finals. However, they have lost from such positions, even if the 1998 quarter-final loss to Monaco is too far back for Ferguson to feel it is of any consequence.
"That was 13 years ago," retorted the United boss. "At this stage of the competition, away goals count. And you always worry. At this stage of the season, you are not playing any bad teams. But you would have to say, Manchester United at home, we have a good chance. All we have to do is win the game. I don't care if it is 10-9."
Not that Ferguson felt his team did themselves justice on Wednesday night.
Amid rumours of an impending takeover bid from Qatar, co-chairman Avram Glazer was one of the unlucky ones who watched a tepid encounter.
Neither side carved out a clear-cut chance, United's best opportunity coming through a Darren Fletcher snap-shot in the first-half which did not find the Marseille net.
Marseille manager Didier Deschamps knows his side will be up against it in the second leg but insists it is all to play for.
"Fifty per cent of the job is done," he said.
"We didn't concede, although maybe we should have pushed forward a bit more towards the end of the game.
"We know the away game is going to be complicated for us but hope is still alive, even if I think Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United will be happy with this result."
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