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Wednesday, April 21, 1999 Published at 23:08 GMT 00:08 UK


Sport: Football

Fergie's finest moment

Jubilant United players after the final whistle

Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson said Wednesday night's dramatic comeback victory over Juventus was the best moment in his career, but he hopes to better it in Barcelona in a month's time.


BBC Football correspondent Mike Ingham reports on United's return to the UK
The Premiership leaders came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and deny the Italians a fourth successive European Cup final.

The result gives United a first appearance in the continent's most important match for 31 years. They will play Bayern Munich in the final in Spain on 26 May.

"It's a fantastic night for the club, particularly with the start we made," said the Scot.

"It's the nature of our club that we always do it the hard way and tonight we have done it in the most difficult way possible."


[ image: Scholes cannot believe his booking]
Scholes cannot believe his booking
United will have to do without Roy Keane and Paul Scholes for the final after the midfielders both picked up second bookings during the semi-final.

Keane admitted he deserved the yellow card for a late challenge on Zinedine Zidane after he lost control of the ball.

"It's one of those things," said the United captain.

"It was a bit of a bad first touch from me but it doesn't really matter. The important thing is that the club got to the final."

But he believed Scholes' punishment for a challenge on Didier Deschamps was harsh.

'Tragic' bookings

Ferguson was even more upset about both players' cards.


Bobby Charlton: "This is a monumental event for our club"
"It's a tragedy for them," he said. "I don't think it was a dirty match and I'm disappointed to lose two players of their standing. They were very unlucky."


[ image: Cole answers his critics]
Cole answers his critics
Keane set United on their way with a first goal but it was strike pair Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole who answered their critics.

An equaliser from Yorke was his first since 10 March while Cole scored the club's first winning goal on Italian soil.

"People have written things about myself and Dwight, saying the goals have dried up, but everyone knows good strikers go through phases where they don't score," said Cole afterwards.

"We have put it right now, and that's the most important thing."

Yorke admitted being rested for the last two matches was disappointing but he bowed to Ferguson's judgment.

"The gaffer knows what he's doing. We have a fantastic squad, and that's why we can rotate," he said.

""We are off to Barcelona - and what more can you ask for?"

Schmeichel's farewell

Peter Schmeichel looked forward to a final game for United at the highest possible level.


[ image: Yorke and Beckham with their sights on Barcelona]
Yorke and Beckham with their sights on Barcelona
"I couldn't have dreamt of this. We have the FA Cup final secured as well, and everything is going so well for us," said the Dane.

But Ferguson admitted he had feared the worst during the opening stages.

"I thought it was another case of suicide which over the years we have done," said the boss.

"The difference is that this team has great composure. They composed themselves when they lost the second goal and started to express themselves very well."

The manager, who incorrectly predicted a game with few goals in Turin, said the final with Bayern would be "good and entertaining"

"They have beaten Kiev and I'm not surprised about that. They are a well organised team," he said.

"I hope my greatest moment is still to come."





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