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Sir Alex says United will twist, not stick

Sir Alex Ferguson said Manchester United FC are not "very good at defending leads" and will therefore go on the offensive as they protect a 3-2 advantage against AC Milan at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Sir Alex says United will twist, not stick
Sir Alex says United will twist, not stick ©UEFA.com

David Beckham returns to Old Trafford as AC Milan look to overturn a 3-2 UEFA Champions League first knockout round deficit against a Manchester United FC side who, Sir Alex Ferguson insists, will attack as normal as they continue their quest to reach a third successive final.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
In Milan it was a landmark victory for us. Perhaps we should have killed off the tie in the middle of the second half, but Seedorf's goal near the end keeps the tie on a tightrope. Milan have to score which should make it very open. I don't think we're very good at defending leads, so we'll be looking to play our normal game and our normal game includes attacking.

Three years ago they beat us 3-0 in the second leg, but the preparations for that game were completely different. You can talk as much as you like, but my team have got to produce and they will produce. I think David [Beckham's] strength has always been his crossing. I'm finding it difficult to see what team they'll pick. If he plays, that [crossing] will be the threat, as well as his set-piece play of course.

Leonardo, Milan coach
I think my confidence stems from what we're doing, the way we're playing. Even in the first leg there were many positive aspects to our play and it's still an open tie. We were playing well before and have done since and I've got confidence in the performance we'll put in. These occasions are always different to normal games. It is difficult to prepare when you have to go out there and get a specific result, just like it is when you're holding the upper hand.

I don't think these games are so much decided by tactics as they are by the players' attitude and approach on the day. We've got many choices in our squad, and lots of players used to playing in these big games. Clearly David Beckham is an important player for us and we will make our choices on a range of different criteria, but we know he has experience and that we can call on him if necessary.

Team news

Manchester United
John O'Shea (leg), Ryan Giggs (broken right arm), Michael Owen (hamstring), Anderson (cruciate knee ligament), Wes Brown (foot)
Jonny Evans (knee)
Michael Carrick
Misses next match if booked:
Nemanja Vidić

• Wayne Rooney returned to training on Tuesday following a knee injury and was passed fit to play by his manager: "In the form he's in at the moment, he's a threat to any team."

• Owen injured his hamstring in the 2-1 English League Cup final defeat of Aston Villa FC on 28 February and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Massimo Oddo (thigh)
Pato (thigh)
Misses next match if booked:
Ignazio Abate, Ronaldinho

• Pato suffered a thigh strain after scoring twice in Milan's 3-1 victory over Atalanta BC on 28 February. He came through an MRI scan on Monday and has travelled to north-west England.

• Mathieu Flamini limped out of Saturday's game in Rome with cramp but will be fit to play in Manchester three days after his 26th birthday.

Weekend results
06/03/10 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 0-1 Manchester United
(Scholes 72)

• United went top of the table, two points clear of Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC, after Paul Scholes became the 19th player to score 100 Premier League goals – emulating team-mates Owen, Rooney and Giggs.

06/03/10 AS Roma 0-0 Milan

• Milan, in second place, remain within four points adrift of leaders FC Internazionale Milano.

• The Rossoneri have conceded just one goal in their last four away league games, although they have scored in only two of their last five Serie A trips.

• United have won 12 UEFA competition first legs away from home and progressed on every occasion.

• The only time Milan have lost at home in a UEFA competition first leg and went through was in their debut campaign in the inaugural 1955/56 European Champion Clubs' Cup. They were beaten 4-3 by first-round opponents 1. FC Saarbrücken before winning the away leg 4-1.

Team Ties
• This match marks Beckham's first return to Old Trafford as an adversary since the midfielder ended a 12-year association with United in 2003. In his last UEFA Champions League appearance there for the Red Devils he scored twice as a substitute against Real Madrid CF – his next employers.

Did you know?
• Milan won the 2003 UEFA Champions League final at Old Trafford on penalties against a Juventus side featuring Gianluca Zambrotta.

Read more on the match in the official UEFA Champions League press kit.

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