Thursday, June 2, 2011

We never really controlled Messi

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Barcelona's Champions League final after defeat
Red Devils manager 'disappointed with the performance of his team but admitted that Premier League champions were beaten by a better direction at Wembley on Saturday night.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that his side had lost to the best European sides Barcelona beat the Reds 3-1 in the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley.

And Scotland admitted his second best throughout the match but instead praising his opponents criticized his own players.

"[We were] beaten well, there is no other way to resolve the situation," he told reporters.

"[We] were beaten by a fantastic team of course, but I expect us to do better and I think at the end of the day we will only admit that we were beaten by a better team.

"We knew before the game and planned the best we can - our training sessions are very good that leads to this game."

Barcelona led by Pedro after a beautiful run from Xavi but United to equalize the game before half-time Wayne Rooney scored a fantastic strike in the 34th minute. However, United was not able to get a foot into the game in the second half as the Catalans dominated possession and scored two goals by Lionel Messi and David Villa to lift the Champions League trophy for the fourth time in their history.

"They mesmerise you with their passing and we never really controlled Messi, although many people say that in the past," continued Ferguson.

"I think when we have created through Wayne Rooney, I expect us to do better in the second half, but it does happen."

This is the second time in three years that United have lost the Champions League to Barcelona and Ferguson admits that Pep Guardiola's side is better now than two years ago, and probably the best I've ever faced.

"I thought they were the best team we've played," he admitted.

"They are top of the exceptional in their cycle of their team and you get a team that lifted him to the status of it and I think Barcelona is the team.

"I think we expected to do better, but that's all I say is right."

The influential Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Messi controlled the game for the Catalans, and with Xavi only player from the 30 Guardiola could go to to dominate European football for years to come, and Ferguson cited the attitude of all the clubs who could stand up they both benefit.

"[Dominate European football] depends on how well they can replace the team at another point - they would have the philosophy," he said.

"It's always difficult to find players like Xavi, Iniesta and Messi all times, so maybe not.

"But they enjoy when they are experiencing now."

Despite the defeat of Ferguson praised the successes it has achieved this season, but admitted defeat in the home of English football has left a sour taste in his mouth during the campaign has ended.

"This is a great season in many ways," he said.

"We're just disappointed we've come to Wembley twice and been beaten.

"The [FA Cup] semi-final against Manchester City and [now] the European Cup final.

"This is a fantastic stage and we're just disappointed that ended on a disappointing note."

And Scotland spoke of his pride in the steps it has made this season and hope that they will push on next season and continue challenging on all fronts, but he continued to praise the efforts Barcelona.

"I think that there is good evidence that we are consistently good European team," he added.

"I think our record is very good this season, we really have won a crucial game but tonight we would be defeated by the best team in Europe.

"There is no shame in that, from time to time you come up against a team far better than you and this night that night."

The match saw goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar made the final appearance of his career, but Ferguson has revealed the future of midfielder Paul Scholes is still not certain, and admitted that he hopes to have his future sorted out in the coming days.

"I had a discussion with Paul [Scholes]," he said.

"He did not make up your mind [whether to play in or not] but we will speak in the next few days."
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