Monday, 4th March, 2013
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has explained that his side will have to put in a top notch defensive performance against Real Madrid this evening to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The first leg of the Round of 16 clash between the two ended 1-1 in Spain, giving Ferguson’s men a slight advantage in terms of the away goal, though he does expect both teams to score in the game.
And with the firepower on display, it may well come down to the respective defences to earn their corn, something Ferguson well understands.
"That probably will be the key to the game, to be honest", he told his club’s official site when asked whether the defence could be the deciding factor.
"As we know, Real Madrid are one of the best counter-attacking teams in Europe.
"That showed itself last Tuesday at the Nou Camp – they were absolutely stunning on the counter-attack so we have to find a way of coping with that while also having our own threat in an attacking sense."
And the 71-year-old has been preparing his team with specific reference to Real Madrid’s weapons, with full respect for the talent that coach Jose Mourinho can call upon in his Los Blancos squad.
"If you’re preparing for a game of football at our level you have to respect the strengths of the other team, which we do.
"Every team we play against, we do work in terms of their shape, their tactics and who their best players are.
"You’re only doing your job. That applies itself tomorrow. We obviously know the sense of our team anyway – we know our strengths and how to go about these games, and hopefully that helps us."
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