Thursday, 6th May 2021
Logo Islandinfo
Mauritius in your hands            

Find in Mauritius

Sight Seeing
Eating Out
Body & Soul
Real Estate
Mauritius Map
Mauritius Online Magazine May 2017 Issue
Expatriates in Mauritius
Mauritius Discovery
Mauritius Explore
Mauritius Escape

Forthcoming Events
in Mauritius

Events & Galleries
in Mauritius
Min: 19 Max: 27
Partly Cloudy
Other regions of Mauritius
16 Mar 2011

Wayne Rooney insisted Manchester United are ready to meet the challenge of overcoming Barcelona to win the Champions League after eliminating Marseille to claim a place in Friday’s draw for the quarter-finals.

Two goals from Javier Hernandez, prior to a late Wes Brown own goal, secured a narrow 2-1 victory on a night when United's injury problems deteriorated with defenders John O’Shea and Rafael da Silva both suffering pulled hamstrings.

But despite the unconvincing manner of United’s progression to the last eight for the fifth successive season, Rooney claims that Sir Alex Ferguson’s team will not fear an encounter with the likes of Lionel Messi and David Villa if they are drawn to meet the tournament favourites when the draw for the latter stages takes place in Nyon.

“If you are going to win this tournament, you have to play anyone and beat them.” Rooney said when asked about the merits of avoiding Barcelona.

“We are thankful to be in the next round, but whoever we get, we will be confident we can win it.

“We’re delighted to be through to the quarter-finals. It was a tough game, we knew Marseille are a big physical team, but we came through and just deserved to in the end.”

Prior to the quarter-final first-leg in the first week of April, United face the prospect of Premier League fixtures against Bolton and West Ham with injury doubts over eleven first-team players, plus the absence of the suspended Paul Scholes.

Ji-sung Park, Jonny Evans and Michael Owen could alleviate the injury crisis by returning against Bolton this weekend, but Ferguson admitted that the loss of O’Shea and Rafael during this victory compounded United’s defensive problems.

Ferguson, who faces an FA hearing on Wednesday into his improper conduct charge for comments about referee Martin Atkinson, said: “That (injuries) was the biggest problem because the balance of team moved a lot with two defenders coming off.

“Without (Rio) Ferdinand and (Nemanja) Vidic, and then losing O’Shea and Rafael, we had a lack of experience which could have cost us, but we held on.

“We've changed the back-four so many times and, without the experience of Ferdinand and Vidic, you're always going to be under some sort of pressure because the boys are young - (Chris) Smalling, Rafael and Fabio (da Silva).

“But if you look at the games we've had over the last couple of weeks, Chelsea and Liverpool away from home, Arsenal in the FA Cup and then tonight, it's a big demand on players and the speed of the game today catches you out.

“We will have to wait and see about Vidic, but Jonny Evans is starting training this week so hopefully we'll have him for Saturday.”

Despite the lack of defensive personnel, Ferguson insisted there would be no SOS call to former captain Gary Neville, whose registration United still hold following his retirement in January.

“No chance,” Ferguson said. “He hasn’t trained for about two months! He is retired.”

The major positive from United’s victory proved to be the form of Hernandez, who took his tally for the season to 16 goals in all competitions since his £7million arrival from Chivas de Guadalajara last summer.

Remarkably, his three goals in the Champions League make him United’s leading scorer in the competition this season and Ferguson admits he has been surprised by the speed of the 22-year-old Mexican’s progress.

Ferguson said: “I think we are surprised. We thought it would take some time to adjust and that we would mainly use him as a substitute.

“When he has come on, he has won a few games for us, but he is lasting the 90 minutes now and it’s giving us options.

“Our main strikers are Wayne, Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov, and with Javier’s form as it is, we can make changes now.

“His partnership with Rooney has been developing pretty well. Where Wayne has played in the last couple of games is a real threat to teams because he has such power and speed with the ball.

“And of course, Hernandez is unbelievable with his movement. If you see his movement for the goal, he made three different types of run. The boy's got goals in him.”

Source :

« Back
Publish your article with us for free
Home | About us | Contact Us | Advertising | Link to Us | Airport   Bookmark and Share Site by: Islandinfo & Maxuz Web Agency