Ferguson happy after United start with a win


MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes last night’s victory over Galatasaray will be crucial if they are to avoid a repeat of last year’s elimination at the Champions League group stage.

Michael Carrick’s early goal failed to settle United’s apparent nerves but regardless proved enough to secure victory on an occasion when Galatasaray’s greater confidence exposed the Premier League side’s defensive vulnerabilities.

“In the first half we gave the ball away too often and they counter-attacked really well,” Ferguson said. “In the second half, though, we were much more solid at the back, and all the chances fell to us.

“It was a good opening game, they were very confident in possession, and missing chances in the second half kept ourselves on the edge. Three points in the opening game are very important, especially when you look at what happened to us last season.”

Exchanging passes with the impressively mobile Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, Carrick attempted to round Fernando Musiera. and connected sufficiently well with the ball to score in an open goal despite the goalkeeper’s clumsy trip that brought him down.

Galatasaray’s movement was always a threat but though they were earlier unlucky not to be given a penalty – and were right to appeal for another before the end – it was United’s Nani whose effort was saved from the spot after Musiera’s foul on Rafael. The Turks thereafter maintained their tempo but the equalising goal never came.