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Ferguson heralds 'clever midfield' display

Sir Alex Ferguson felt the containment job done by Manchester United FC merited victory at Chelsea FC, whose manager Carlo Ancelotti vowed to attack at Old Trafford next week.

Ferguson heralds 'clever midfield' display
Ferguson heralds 'clever midfield' display ©UEFA.com

Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson pinpointed the unheralded Park Ji-Sung as one of the keys to a disciplined display which earned his side a 1-0 win at Chelsea FC. The Blues' Carlo Ancelotti was upbeat about his team's performance despite defeat, and determined to remain optimistic ahead of next Tuesday's quarter-final second leg at Old Trafford.

Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea manager
We know it will be difficult now. We need to win at Old Trafford and have the confidence we can do this. Our performance tonight was good and we gave 100%. In general we played good football, with good control, but we conceded a goal too easily and it was very difficult to come back. We had a lot of chances, more than them. Torres was unlucky to hit the post and Van der Sar made a fantastic save.

We didn't deserve to lose but that doesn't matter now. I'm very disappointed but it doesn't matter because this is now the past. We have to forget this and focus on the next game; try to do our best there. The result is not good but it is just 90 minutes. It will be a different tactical situation at Old Trafford. We have to try and play attacking football to win this game.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
We're not surprised. We didn't get many chances, Nani in the second half and Chicharito's [Javier Hernández] first-half header. Overall, it was a matter of a clever midfield. I think most of the time we contained them very well. They overload the midfield and you have to be clever with how you handle that. That's why we used Park [Ji-Sung] – he's a fantastic player, tactically. He understands what our method is and we still had the energy to counterattack.

The biggest advantage is that [the second leg] will be at Old Trafford. It will be an electric atmosphere and I look forward to that. Of course [Chelsea] can do it: it's only a 1-0 lead. We need to be really careful and put in a top performance. It will be a tight game at Old Trafford, there's no doubt about that.

I think we've had to make do with defenders getting injured most of the season. With Ferdinand back today there's evidence things can get better because of the experience as opposed to the inexperience of Chris Smalling. We're pleased with [Rooney's] performance, I think it was tremendous, he played fantastically. He's now more regular in his scoring which in the second half of the season is going to be important for us.