Wayne Rooney expects Manchester United FC to wrap up a last-eight berth at Old Trafford on 15 March after Wednesday's "very positive" 0-0 draw at Olympique de Marseille.
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Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidić both warned Olympique de Marseille to expect a different Manchester United FC in the second leg at Old Trafford following Wednesday's stalemate.
The Premier League leaders arrived in southern France with several senior figures missing as Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen joined Anderson and Park Ji-Sung on the sidelines, yet they still managed to get through a difficult night unscathed. Spurred on by a noisy crowd, Marseille tried hard to put the visitors under pressure but continually foundered on a solid defence, with Vidić and the deputising Chris Smalling performing admirably.
Although United were rarely at their fluent best and also struggled to create chances, Rooney was confident of sealing a quarter-final spot in the 15 March decider. "The fact we didn't lose is very positive," the England striker said. "We've got Marseille at home now and we know that if we beat them we're through to the next round. We're confident at home and we have to be positive."
It was largely a frustrating game for the attackers and especially for Rooney, who found himself playing a far more defensive role than usual on the left flank. The 25-year-old was happy to help the team out, though, saying: "We've got a lot of injuries at the minute, so I don't have a problem [playing on the wing]. But it was quite a difficult game for us. Marseille didn't cause us many problems, but we didn't create as many chances as we'd have liked. We had a few big players missing and I think they would have made a difference had they been here."
Ferdinand's absence gave Smalling another opportunity to show off his talent and the 21-year-old Englishman took his chance well. Of his centre-back partner, Vidić said: "He's a very good footballer and played well tonight. It's great for the future of Manchester United and English football." United's captain also expressed confidence ahead of the return meeting, saying: "Marseille didn't have many chances and we kept the ball well, so there are positive things to take from this game. But the home game will definitely be different."