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Sir Alex salutes 'terrific' United

Manchester United FC boss Sir Alex Ferguson hailed a fine team performance although AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti insists there is still "everything to play for".

Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson bemoaned the defensive uncertainty that gave AC Milan two away goals in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final at Old Trafford but nevertheless hailed a "terrific performance" by a United side who fought back from 2-1 down to snatch a narrow advantage thanks to two Wayne Rooney goals. Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, believes his team can approach the second leg next Wednesday full of optimism despite injuries to Gennaro Gattuso and Paolo Maldini that forced their substitutions.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
It was a terrific performance by us, though there were moments when Milan played great football. It was strange that for such a good game of football, there were some poor goals; we lost two awful goals. At 2-1 down against a team of that standard it is difficult. We did say at half-time that if we continued to play with speed we would have a chance. There was a moment when we were a bit stretched in the second half, we got caught out twice and Kaká should have scored. That gave us a lifeline and in these games you need a bit of luck. But after that we were the better team, the second goal gave us the advantage and then there was only going to be one winner. Wayne's goal puts us in a fantastic position. I think that with the speed of our team we will score over there, but I don't know whether that will be enough. We know it will be difficult but I am looking forward to it.

Carlo Ancelotti, Milan coach
The third goal has complicated matters. We did play well for an hour but it was always going to be difficult to maintain that for the full game. We lost the experience of Gattuso and Maldini and they certainly would have contributed. We are in better shape for the second leg than when we played [FC] Bayern [München] in the quarter-finals. But the result tonight means it will suit United, they will be able to play on the counterattack which is one of their great strengths, even though we will go into the game with confidence. United have a slight advantage but it is all to play for.