Sir Alex Ferguson has reminisced about past pain in Manchester United’s Champions League quests, in the hopes of motivating the squad to play with full pressure and concentration for the entire 90 minutes.
Last year, United went into the second leg of the quarter final against Bayern Munich with a 2-1 deficit, but when they were 3-0 up in the first half at Old Trafford, a succession into the semi final looked on the cards for the Red Devils. But it wasn’t to be, with Bayern coming back to lose 3-2, and going through on away goals while United were swept aside.
“It was a disappointing night,” Ferguson said.
“It looked like it would be a slaughter job. We were 3-0 up and could have had four or five. Then they got a goal right on half-time.
“The mood of each dressing room was different because of that. They knew one goal would put them through.
“Then we had young Rafael sent off, which was a very harsh decision, and the game swung their way.”
Fast forward to the present, and Rafael is a 50/50 chance to play after sustaining a knee injury in the first leg last week. Should he pass his fitness test, he will be out to prove that he won’t be a liability in this quarter final.
Ferguson believes that keeping constant concentration will be key to success in tonight’s match with Chelsea, so a repeat of last year doesn’t happen again.
“Concentration is vital and goals change games… we’re well aware of that. We just hope the goals come from us,” the Manchester United manager said.
Wayne Rooney is also rearing to go, after not playing on the weekend due to his suspension. And with the striker scoring the only goal in United’s away win to Chelsea in the first leg, being in top form will be of the upmost importance for the 26 year old.
“Wayne will be fresher, that’s for sure,” Ferguson said.
“Missing the game on Saturday has given him six days of good preparation.”
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