|Attempts on target||6||3|
|Attempts off target||10||3|
|F||Man. United||Sporting CP|
Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson was gushing in his praise for a "maturing" Cristiano Ronaldo as his injury-time goal ensured the English side came from behind to win against his former club Sporting Clube de Portugal and finish top of Group F. Paulo Bento's side will be taking part in the UEFA Cup for the rest of the campaign and that qualification made the Sporting coach "'happy to achieve our second objective".
Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
It was a marvellous goal by Cristiano Ronaldo. He can strike them well but that was a truly excellent goal. As far as the game was concerned, we just marginally won it. We weren't all that much better than Sporting but we increased the tempo in the second half and Cristiano settled it for us. It's important to win the group because when we go to [AS Roma] I'll be able to rest some players. One or two won't travel, but I'll still field a team that can win the match. Cristiano Ronaldo always wants to do well against his old club. He owes a lot to Sporting, respects that and has great admiration for the club. Cristiano was only 18 when he started playing European football. Now he's maturing - he does what we expect him to do.
Paulo Bento, Sporting coach
It was a good game, much better for us in the first half of course. We scored two goals but only one of them was given, which was disappointing. In the second half we had problems getting our passing together and United put us under incessant pressure. They had four players up front. We struggled to get space and pass the ball. Manchester United have very good players and it is difficult to get through them. It's always frustrating to lose. We missed our first objective, which was staying in the Champions League but we are happy to achieve our second objective and reach the UEFA Cup, so we have done better than last season. We have surrendered three points late on in the last two games but we are happy with a UEFA Cup place. I don't believe that we will be favourites to win the UEFA Cup though. Cristiano Ronaldo had a great influence on both matches against us. He is very quick, one of hardest players to stop. I don't think we shall be short of offers for Miguel Veloso. When you consider the teams that are reported to be interested in him, I'm sure we will lose him.
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