United outshine Mourinho's men but fail to make it pay

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Ferguson determined to finish off Inter after his side dominate goalless first leg

Sir Alex Ferguson last night promised Manchester United would finish the job at Old Trafford and eliminate Internazionale from the Champions League in the return leg after his team were denied victory at San Siro despite a thrilling first-half performance.

Ferguson invoked the memory of the victory over Barcelona in the semi-finals last year when his side secured a goalless draw in the first leg and then went on to win the game at Old Trafford with a goal from Paul Scholes. "It was a disappointment we haven't won the game that's for sure," Ferguson said. "But with the next game being at Old Trafford [on 11 March] with the record we have there we must have a great chance of winning the match. We need to win the match in front of our fans. The game is not finished but we have given ourselves a great chance.

"I'm disappointed we haven't won the match but it is only half-time. Now we are going to Old Trafford. You saw how we played two years ago [when they lost 3-0 to Milan in the semi-final] and you can see the development of the team, the maturity. We were swamped by Milan that night. You can see how we have improved.

"We didn't score against Barcelona [last season] at the Nou Camp and we played a really fantastic Barcelona team at Old Trafford. Our focus and concentration at Old Trafford was outstanding. That's what we will do this time. Focus and concentration and hopefully we will be all right with that."

They have improved to the extent that, even without Wayne Rooney for all but seven minutes of the game, Jose Mourinho was left blaming the referee Luis Medina Cantalejo for Inter's relatively poor showing. The Inter manager said: "If we get there [Old Trafford] where we won't have the same referee and we get another one who gives so much protection to the away team it will be us in the quarter-final."

Ferguson said that he had not picked Wayne Rooney from the start because he needed Dimitar Berbatov's height at set-pieces. He had planned on being without Nemanja Vidic, who was suspended, and Jonny Evans who was eventually passed fit to play. "Wayne had only played one full game in seven weeks. My mind was made up two days ago after the Blackburn game [on Saturday]. I didn't think Evans would be fit.

"Looking at the Inter team I felt there was a weakness in aerial ability in terms of defending set-pieces. I had to have Berbatov in the team. I had prepared Ryan [Giggs] to play in this game. The best way to use Berbatov was to play him up front and I thought he was fantastic."

On Mourinho's assessment of the referee's performance, Ferguson said: "Is he serious? I thought it was a marvellous performance by the referee. He wasn't intimidated, that's what Jose means. He hoped the referee would be intimidated and he wasn't at any time. I thought he was first class."

Instead of shaking Ferguson's hand at the end of the game, Mourinho said that he had exited through a secret door at the back of his dugout. He justified that by saying he had left a "£300" bottle of wine in Ferguson's hotel on Monday night and a card promising they would have a glass together at Old Trafford in two weeks' time.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are