Alex Ferguson admits Berbatov could have made difference
Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he made a mistake by not putting Dimitar Berbatov on the bench for Manchester United's disappointing Champions League draw with Rangers at Old Trafford last night.
Ferguson made 10 changes and gave in-form Berbatov the night off as he tried to assess the standing of some new players.
But as United struggled to overcome Rangers' blanket defence, Ferguson found himself lacking someone with the guile to find a way through once Antonio Valencia had departed with his horrific injury.
"We wanted to see how Javier Hernandez would do in a full game," said Ferguson.
"Because of that we left Berbatov out and his form has been absolutely fantastic.
"He has been one of our best players this season and his ability to create in tight situations would have made a difference."
Yet Ferguson insisted he had no alternative as, entering such a congested phase of the season, he needed to know what options he has at his disposal.
"We wanted to find out about one or two players," he said.
"But seven or eight of them played against Chelsea in the Community Shield, so we weren't short of players we needed to win the game.
"There were plenty of good players on the pitch."
Unfortunately for United, they kept running into a brick wall, as the five Rangers defenders were protected by four midfielders right in front of them.
Only Darron Gibson came close to breaking the deadlock with a couple of fierce long-range efforts that whistled past the post.
Wayne Rooney had one half-chance on his return to action but nothing clear cut and a measure of how awkward United found their opponents was shown by the fact they were forced to wait until the 84th minute to force their first corner.
"It was a frustrating night for us," he said.
"Rangers' system of play was very difficult to break down.
"I don't know if playing anyone else would have made any difference.
"They were well organised and defended so deep, it was difficult to open them up at all.
"We didn't test their goalkeeper at all, apart from a couple of shots straight at him.
"It was a really difficult night."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Hector Bellerin opens up on switch from Barcelona to Arsenal
Manchester United's Angel Di Maria sells more shirts than Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and every other player in the Premier League
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania 31: Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans