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AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said Manchester United FC were "on another level" after goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney left the visitors on the brink of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the second successive season. Yet although his team lost the second leg 7-1 at Old Trafford at the same stage last year, Spalletti would not concede defeat just yet. His opposite number Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, refused to get carried away ahead of next Wednesday's return match. He did, however, hail a "fantastic" result, sparked by a goal that had United's manager reliving his playing days.
Luciano Spalletti, Roma coach
The result suggests United are on another level, but the game was not like that. The only thing I did not like is that we lost confidence after their second goal, otherwise we played as we should have. At the start of both halves we played well and deserved to score. Christian Panucci had the best chances of the game but was unlucky, while their second goal was quite fortunate even if Rooney did well to score. Now the situation is very difficult but we have to go to Manchester and try to do our best. We have scored two goals at many grounds in Europe before. United have great individuals but they were quite lucky at key moments tonight. Many people say Italian sides play defensively and counterattack but this Manchester United team is the most Italian side I have seen in this sense. They leave you with control of the midfield but find space behind for their attackers to exploit. I don't know if Francesco Totti will be available at Old Trafford but we are confident he can make it.
Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
The result is fantastic, but we still have to prepare well for the return leg. In football nothing is certain even if we have taken a big step towards the semi-finals. At the start we struggled a bit but the game changed after Ronaldo's goal. Rooney and him were dangerous during the whole game. Ronaldo can play in the centre of the attack and his goal reminded me of when I was a striker. Edwin van der Sar's experience is crucial for us and he proved it when he made a terrific save from Mirko Vučinić's header. I also want to congratulate Ji-Sung Park – I don't know how he reached that ball to set up Rooney's goal. I hope Nemanja Vidić's injury is not serious. We will have to wait for him to undergo tests and at the moment I only know he's injured his knee. Roma will have Totti back in the return and he is a very important player for them. But we will be playing at Old Trafford and that's the ideal stadium for these kind of nights.
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