Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Man. United's Ferguson backs Cristiano Ronaldo after miss
April 24th, 2008 10:46AM



[REACTION] Cristiano Ronaldo's missed penalty kick in the third minute cost Manchester United a chance to escape from Barcelona's Nou Camp Stadium with a victory, but United manager Alex Ferguson praised the young Portuguese star after Wednesday's 0-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal series.

"He was a bit unlucky," said Ferguson, "and maybe [the penalty] come too early."

The United manager was overall pleased with his team's play on the road.

"It was a professional performance," he said, "and as I said at halftime we sealed off areas where Barcelona normally do well. There was a lot of play on the edge of our box but we defended well. We should have done better with our possession and we gave the ball away too easily. The result gives us a good chance."

United was awarded a penalty when Ronaldo headed Wayne Rooney's corner against the arm of Gabriel Milito.

Ronaldo thought he should have been awarded a second penalty later in the first half when he collided with defender Rafael Marquez.

Ferguson wasn't so sure.

"You're lucky to get one penalty at the Nou Camp," he said, "so getting two..."

"There were no white hankies, which showed that they were satisfied with the way their team played," he said. "Barcelona have fantastic players and I'm pleased that, while they kept the ball really well, they did not create that many clear chances. There was a period in the second half when [Samuel] Eto'o hit the side netting and got to the byline but otherwise we kept them at bay. Rio Ferdinand played fantastically."

Barca played without Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi came off after an hour, and Thierry Henry only played the last quarter of an hour. Still, Barca coach Frank Rijkaard was confident that his team will do well in the second leg on Tuesday at Old Trafford.

"We have to keep an eye on [Lionel] Messi still and take care with him," said Rijkaard, "while [Thierry] Henry is only just coming back from a fever, but we are getting key players back. I think that, while this is not a good result, we have taken a big step forward tonight."

April 23 in Barcelona
Barcelona 0 Man. United 0.
Barcelona -- Valdes, Zambrotta, Marquez, Milito, Abidal, Xavi, Toure, Deco (Henry, 77), Messi (Krkic, 62), Eto'o, Iniesta.
Man. United -- van der Sar, Hargreaves, Ferdinand, Brown, Evra, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Park, Tevez (Giggs, 85), Rooney (Nani, 76).
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland).
Att.: 98,000


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
FIFA in total meltdown: Blatter and Platini suspended    
International soccer was engulfed by a new crisis on Thursday as FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ...
U.S. Abroad: Mewis makes European debut for Bayern    
U.S. international Kristie Mewis, signed by Bayern Munich from the NWSL's Boston Breakers, made her debut ...
TV Report: Press joins Fox Sports' @TheBuzzer    
U.S. women's national team forward Christen Press will be the first active athlete to contribute to ...
MLS: Red Bulls pull ahead in Supporters' Shield race    
The New York Red Bulls opened up a three-point lead in the Supporters' Shield race and ...
Concacaf Olympic Qualifying: Day 6    
The USA will face Honduras, a 2-1 loser to Mexico on Wednesday night, in Saturday's semifinals ...
What They're Saying: Jordan Morris    
"I don’t want to gloat or anything. I mean, for one thing, we were playing like ...
Video Pick: Unfortunate rebound downs the shooter    
We're happy to report that RB Leipzig's Austrian striker Marcel Sabitzer was unharmed after his own ...
Mexico loses key midfielder for U.S. match    
Jose Juan Vazquez, expected to start in central midfield for Mexico on Saturday against the USA ...
What They're Saying: New Jersey referee Jim Grimes    
"When I'm doing soccer, I'll still hear a parent or coach say, 'How long have you ...
Klinsmann's ace in the hole: U.S. record vs. Mexico    
For all the criticism of Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. national team coach does have quite a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives