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Ferguson fires warning to Arsenal

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Semi-final will go to the wire - Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Arsenal they will struggle to stop Manchester United scoring in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.

Boss Ferguson saw United win their home leg 1-0 but they squandered chances to make the scoreline more convincing.

"We played at a good high tempo and maybe we should have scored four goals but before the game I wanted to win without losing a goal," said Ferguson.

"We know we can go there and score and that is the big problem Arsenal have."

United dominated the game but only had John O'Shea's 18th-minute goal to show for their efforts.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a header saved and hit the bar with a second-half screamer, while Carlos Tevez saw a close-range effort brilliantly stopped by Gunners keeper Manuel Almunia.

Bullish Wenger confident despite defeat

"The bigger problem is if you don't make the chances. I believe they can make the chances again. We know we have goal threats," insisted Ferguson.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his players are capable of a much better performance at the Emirates Stadium and was relieved to emerge from the first leg with only a one-goal deficit to make up.

"I believe that we have a good chance to reverse the result," he said.

"I am convinced you will see a different Arsenal team at the Emirates.

"United can have regrets because they didn't score a second goal. It's down to us to make sure they regret they didn't score a second goal."

Wenger reserved special praise for Spanish keeper Almunia.

"He had a big game in a big game," he added.

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"His saves were excellent, top class in every sense. His reading of the game, his decision-making, quality, sharpness. He was really top class."

Ferguson, meanwhile, chose to single out goalscorer O'Shea, whose only other goal this season was in the Carling Cup semi-final against Derby.

"He is a great professional. The boy never complains. He is happy to play anywhere," said the United manager.

"He has not always been a number one choice but he produces 30 performances a season and it is a contribution we are grateful for.

"At the present moment in time, he would be in the team if we got to the final."

However, Ferguson remains concerned that United's fixture list could hamper their bid to win four trophies this season.

Silvestre concentrating on positives

He claimed that while Arsenal can afford to rest players in their Premier League game against Portsmouth on Saturday, he must pick a strong side for the early kick-off against Middlesbrough as United look to maintain their lead in the title race.

"Arsenal's big advantage is that they can play Pat Rice at right-back and Arsene himself at centre-forward on Saturday," quipped Ferguson.

"We have to play a team to win the game. We have a lunchtime kick-off at Middlesbrough and I do not think it is right."



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see also
Man Utd 1-0 Arsenal
29 Apr 09 |  Europe
Man Utd v Arsenal photos
29 Apr 09 |  Football
Man Utd v Arsenal as it happened
29 Apr 09 |  Europe
Man Utd make victory parade plans
28 Apr 09 |  Manchester


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