Champions League - Fergie: Real could not handle Welbeck

Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Real Madrid found Danny Welbeck too hot to handle in the Bernabeu Stadium.

PA Sport
Premier League - Ferguson not concerned by Welbeck tally
.

View photo

Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (R) scores the opening goal against Real Madrid (Reuters)

England's top scorer in 2012, Welbeck had found the net just once for United this season.

But that did not stop the 22-year-old getting the better of Sergio Ramos in the first half, powering home the header that set United up for an encouraging 1-1 draw.

It was the high point of an excellent all-round display from Welbeck, who seemed to have fallen so far down the pecking order at United he was linked with a loan move to Reading before the transfer window opened.

There was never any chance of that deal taking place.

And Ferguson could not have been more delighted with the striker's contribution.

"He was marvellous," said Ferguson. "It is a pity he got cramp at the end of game, but he worked so hard. It was only his second goal of season. We expected more, but he is young.

"They found it difficult to handle him."

It was also a night to remember for goalkeeper David de Gea, who has found himself under so much scrutiny recently, with former United full-back Gary Neville among those to criticise the Spain Olympic keeper for Tottenham's equaliser in last month's draw at White Hart Lane.

"De Gea was excellent," Ferguson said. "He made three or four top saves. He has been improving all season."

"There was one save, I think it was in the first half when he got a touch of the ball that put it on the outside of the post. It was an absolutely superb save.

"It's a difficult place to come back to and to perform like that. He played for Atletico, so he'll be pleased with that."

Team-mate Ryan Giggs added: "It's good for him to come back to Madrid and put in such a good performance. He is a top keeper and his shot stopping is second to none.

"He is maturing all the time and he has showed that tonight. He has come to Madrid with a lot of pressure on him, being from Atletico, and he has produced the goods."

Looking ahead to the return leg at Old Trafford on March 5, Ferguson added:

"We made chances all the time, and hopefully we don't regret that," he said.

"The away goal is important but it's not finished, of course, because Real Madrid are a fantastic counter-attacking team. It gives us a good chance. I look forward to it."

View comments (28)
Write for Yahoo Sport
  • Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Ian Bell guided England to an eight-wicket victory over Australia in the third test at Edgbaston on Friday to put the hosts 2-1 up in the series with two matches to play. Bell (65 not out) and Joe Root, with an unbeaten 38, anchored the chase after England were set to 121 to win on the third day at Edgbaston where a dominant performance banished memories of a heavy defeat at Lord's. England lost Alastair Cook (7) and Adam Lyth (12) to set a few nerves on edge but Bell, dropped on 20 by Australia captain Michael Clarke, made his second 50 of the match to spark raucous celebrations after Root hit the winning runs. More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago
  • Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Liverpool offload Rickie Lambert after just one unproductive season at Anfield More »

    Reuters - 4 hours ago
  • Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Inter Milan have signed Stevan Jovetic from Manchester City, although there were conflicting reports as to whether it was a loan or permanent switch. More »

    Eurosport - 5 hours ago
  • Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Who replaces Sepp Blatter? These key questions and more are answered on this week's episode of The Rail, as Spencer is joined by football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem. More »

    Copa90 - 5 hours ago
  • No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    The snow will be fake, but the very real financial muscle China boasts proved decisive on Friday when Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Games officials meeting in Kuala Lumpur voted for the Chinese capital over the lure of a winter wonderland offering from Kazakhstan's Almaty, in a clear sign that the International Olympic Committee is craving solidity and security after a series of problems and headaches. While Rio scrambles to make up lost time in its building for the 2016 Olympics, and Tokyo is embroiled in a stadium drama the allure of a megacity with a cast-iron financial guarantee proved irresistible. More »

    Reuters - 7 hours ago