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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
Ferguson feels final is beckoning
By Chris Bevan
At Old Trafford

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson believes pace could be the key for United
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson feels the pace of his side's attack can take them all the way to the Champions League final in Athens.

United came from behind to beat AC Milan 3-2 in the first leg of their semi-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

And Ferguson said: "We proved we have the qualities to win this tournament.

"With the speed of our team we will score again over there. I don't know whether it will be enough for us but it will be a fantastic match."


An enthralling encounter at Old Trafford saw Cristiano Ronaldo's header put United in front before Kaka hit back with two goals for Milan and it was left to Wayne Rooney to rescue Ferguson's side with his second-half double-strike.

"When you are 2-1 down to a team of Milan's standard it is very difficult to get back into the game," added Ferguson.

"But at half-time we told the players to persevere with playing our football and keep playing at speed."

It won't be easy in Milan but they know it won't be easy either

Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson was delighted with the outcome and feels the way his side fought back bodes well for their trip to the San Siro.

"It was a fantastic pass by Paul Scholes to set up Wayne for our second goal and that gave us the incentive," explained Ferguson.

"We needed our players to hit the heights and his winner was a fantastic goal.

"The way we played - with the ball as wide as we could to stretch them - meant he was not getting as much of the ball as he would like but when he did he was a real threat to them.

"It won't be easy in Milan but they know it won't be easy either. We have got an outstanding chance now."

Meanwhile, AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has conceded that United are marginal favourites to get through.

He stated: "Manchester United probably do have a slight advantage.

"We are disappointed about their winning goal because I felt we had the match pretty much in hand.

"It seemed we were going to get a good result but that goal has complicated matters."

The only blip for United on an otherwise successful evening was a booking for right-back Patrice Evra, which rules him out of the second leg.

With Nemanja Vidic, Gary Neville, Mikael Silvestre and Rio Ferdinand already sidelined, Ferguson is short at the back and may have to rush his injured players back quicker than he would prefer to.

"We have got eight days to get Rio fit and that is crucial to us now because Patrice misses the game," added Ferguson.

"I could bring Darren Fletcher back to right-back but I hope we don't have to given his performance in midfield in the first leg.

"Darren was outstanding with his energy and willingness to work for the team. He seems to excel in the big games and that was another big performance from him."

Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is hoping to be fit for the second leg next week, despite suffering a knock on the foot.

However, Paolo Maldini, who was substituted at half-time on Tuesday with a knee problem, is more of a doubt.

Man Utd 3-2 AC Milan
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24 Apr 07 |  Man Utd


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