VfB Stuttgart coach Felix Magath was delighted as his inspired side stunned Manchester United FC.
VfB Stuttgart coach Felix Magath was ecstatic after a tremendous performance earned three important Group E points at home to Manchester United FC.
Two goals early in the second half helped the German side to a 2-1 win, and Magath was delighted with the way his side refused to fear their English opponents. "I am overwhelmed by this exceptional performance," he said. "I am overwhelmed too by this extraordinary atmosphere and that we really beat Manchester United - and all this was absolutely deserved."
After a close first half, in which neither team could make their possession count, his strikers Kevin Kuranyi and Imre Szabics both found the net in a devastating period for United.
United's Ruud van Nistelrooij provided the only reply in the shape of a controversial penalty. But this did not halt the Stuttgart rampage and they soon won a penalty of their own.
Howard denies Meira
However, United keeper Tim Howard made a fine save to deny Fernando Meira a third Stuttgart goal. This provided United with an impetus and they began to pile on the pressure. At this point, Magath began to get nervous. "
We had to shiver until the last second," he added. "But my team fought bravely and our victory is well earned."
Champions League mettle
The scorer of the second goal, Brazilian-born Kuranyi said the win proved Stuttgart will be a team to beat in this season's Champions League. "We are a young team and we try to improve from match to match," he said. "Now we showed that we can even can beat teams like Manchester." His side next face Panathinaikos FC here on 22 October.
Visiting manager Sir Alex Ferguson was understandably downcast after his side's uninspired performance which leaves them level on points with second-placed Stuttgart and a point behind Rangers FC, with the Scottish champions being United's next opponents on 22 October. However, he said they would stick to the same plan, despite tonight's setback.
"We knew Stuttgart were a strong team but I did not expect them to be that strong," Ferguson said. "Our goal remains the same. We need ten points and I believe we will get them."
Despite some impressive performances from the Stuttgart strikers, Ferguson believes that United's defenders had to take their share of the blame for allowing both goals to be scored. "
Our defence was poor tonight and that's something we have to work on," he said.