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Lyon rue 'absolutely vital' equaliser

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Carlos Tévez's 87th-minute equaliser as "absolutely vital" after Manchester United FC claimed a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyonnais.

Alain Perrin and Sir Alex Ferguson were united in praise for Lyon's Karim Benzema
Alain Perrin and Sir Alex Ferguson were united in praise for Lyon's Karim Benzema ©Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Carlos Tévez's late equaliser as "absolutely vital" after the substitute struck three minutes from time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Manchester United FC against Olympique Lyonnais at the Stade de Gerland. It left Lyon counterpart Alain Perrin feeling "huge disappointment" though he and Sir Alex were united in their praise of Karim Benzema, whose stunning 54th-minute strike had given the home side the lead.

Alain Perrin, Lyon coach
It is a huge disappointment to let Manchester score in the final minutes. It's a paradox because had it stayed at 0-0 we would have been better placed to qualify, and as it stands we are currently out. It was an interesting performance by Lyon: we were very focused as a team and I saw individual and collective qualities. There was a little bit of fatigue as the game wore on and I thought that Fred, Hatem Ben Arfa and Mathieu Bodmer might help us grab a second goal on a counterattack. It was not easy for Karim Benzema, but he has done his job very well tonight.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
This game reminded me of the match three years ago [when the teams drew 2-2 in the 2004/05 group stage]. Tonight Lyon scored a fantastic goal which gave them a lot of energy and, of course, they also defended very well. We lost a goal out of nothing, really, but it showed the qualities of the boy Benzema. It was a marvellous strike but I thought we were in complete control at the time. I had a lot of options on the bench, though. Carlos Tévez and Nani improved our chances and I think we now have a good opportunity to qualify. [Tévez's goal] was absolutely vital. Time and time again we rescue games or score late winners and it's purely down to the players' determination.