Floodlight failure at SC Braga may have helped Manchester United FC recover to win, Wayne Rooney telling UEFA.com: "After the lights came back I think we played the better football."
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Manchester United FC have secured their passage to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 as Group H winners with two games to spare, yet Wayne Rooney told UEFA.com he and his team-mates are still keen to win their remaining matches in the section. After a contest that was briefly interrupted by floodlight failure, SC Braga attacker Alan said the Portuguese side have much to learn from their back-to-back losses to Sir Alex Ferguson's men.
Wayne Rooney, United forward
It was a strange game. Until they got the goal we played too slowly but we knew if we could speed up our passing we could win. We needed more movement which was something we looked to put right and after the lights came back on I think we played the better football. Thankfully we managed to get the win while scoring three goals.
I was a bit lucky with my penalty as I slipped but it went in and I am happy to have scored. [Despite having missed from the spot against Arsenal FC at the weekend] I had no doubts about taking another one tonight. We're through as group winners which gives the coach the opportunity to rest a few players if he wants to do that. Of course, as players we want to keep playing and keep this momentum going while looking to win more games.
Ryan Giggs, United midfielder
They were the better team in the first half and had the better chances and it wasn't until Robin van Persie came on that we started to play a little better. When he burst through [in the move that led to the first goal] I think everyone knew there was only going to be one outcome. I read last week that people were comparing Robin to Ruud van Nistelrooy in that he used to put away chances more often than not and I think that's probably the case at the moment with Robin – his confidence is high.
In general our form is good. We are looking forward to getting all our players back to fitness, like Chris Smalling who returned tonight and looked like he hadn't been away at all. The manager and the players said that [our performance in this tournament] wasn't good enough last year. We put that to the back of our minds and started really well this time with four wins from four games – you can't ask for more really.
Leandro Salino, Braga midfielder
We were very distracted in the last ten minutes and when that happens against a team like Manchester United you will ultimately pay the price. We have to be focused for 90 or even 95 minutes, if needs be. Unfortunately we lost for the second time against them, having had an advantage. Our defeat came about mainly because of our own mistakes. Having said that, this match is already over and we can't dwell on it. We are still not out of the UEFA Champions League. In our group only United have qualified and we will continue to fight for second place with Galatasaray and CFR. We will look to win our next two games against those teams.
Alan, Braga forward
I think we played really well tonight but you just cannot make any mistakes against an opponent like United. We made a lot of errors in the closing stages of the match and that's why we lost it. We still haven't talked among ourselves about what went wrong in those last ten minutes. We first have to clear our heads and then analyse things. We still have our hopes in this group and we will fight until the last minute to get the points we need to qualify. Despite the fact we lost both games against United, we showed what we can do. Of course, it's never good to lose, but we will emerge from this even stronger than before.