Ferguson hails Burnley after 'special night' for new boys

United manager points to 'fate' after Robbie Blake goal consigns champions to incredible defeat

Sir Alex Ferguson accepted last night that his Manchester United team had played badly in their shock 1-0 defeat to Burnley that set the new Premier League season alight. Robbie Blake scored the winner at Turf Moor in a match that his manager Owen Coyle described as a "mismatch".

Ferguson's team went behind after 18 minutes and had a penalty by Michael Carrick saved by Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen in the first top-flight game at Turf Moor since 1976. With a long list of injuries to defenders – Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Rafael and Fabio Da Silva were all missing as well as goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar – Ferguson conceded that his team had not risen to the occasion.

Ferguson said: "It was a bad performance. We should have done more with the chances we had and the possession we had. In fairness to them they had a good spell and caused us a lot of problems. There were some great crosses that came over. Apart from that we were in complete control.

"You wonder if it's fate, Burnley back in the Premier League, it's been a long time. You can't deny them their victory. They worked hard, they worked their socks off, the fans were fantastic. I think we'd have won the game if we'd scored that [penalty]. We'd have composed ourselves and won the game I think.

"Second half we got harried with our passes and made a couple of bad decisions. That can happen. But you never know."

Michael Owen's partnership with Wayne Rooney looked far from convincing. Ferguson said that the lack of goals was not a worry for him. He said: "It's not a concern at this stage when you see the chances we've had. Two or three players had chances. Michael Carrick had the best chance, the ball was squared to him and he lost the opportunity.

"We usually take our time to get going. Sometimes it's October before we get into our best form. But we shouldn't be losing these games. You have to give credit to Burnley. It's a great night for them. Their fans were fantastic and the pitch was magnificent. Everyone was here for a great night of football. It's a special night for Burnley."

The Burnley manager Coyle said: "If you look at the money both clubs have spent it is a mis-match but we have belief and quality in our team. We have to replicate this every game.

"We will always give our maximum for the shirt. My players will be earning nowhere near what some get in the Premier League but they will give everything they can every week."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions