Monday 06 February 2012
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for both teams after their thrilling 3-3 draw at Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League.
Champions United showed their spirit to come from 3-0 down early in the second half to earn a point in a magnificent encounter at Stamford Bridge.
The draw leaves them two points behind leaders Manchester City, but Ferguson could not fault his team for their performance.
"It was a great game for the neutral watching, really fantastic"
- Sir Alex Ferguson
"It's not easy coming back from 3-0 down and it was a massive effort from our players," said the Scottish manager.
"It was a great game for the neutral watching, really fantastic, and Chelsea played a great part in it too.
"Although I thought we were the better team, Chelsea made it an interesting game for anyone watching the match. And I was pleased with my players.
"Apart from a period of 10 minutes after half-time when we got off to a terrible start and lost two goals, I thought we were the far better team."
A Jonny Evans own goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead at the break, before Juan Mata and David Luiz made it 3-0 after 50 minutes. Wayne Rooney then struck two penalties, before Javier Hernandez powered in a header to level with six minutes left.
United were also indebted to a wonder save from their Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, who somehow clawed away his countryman Mata's top-corner-bound free-kick in the closing stages.
De Gea has been criticised in recent weeks, but Ferguson added: "That save was unbelievable. It was going right in the top corner. He made two or three other saves, including a good one in the first half.
"He's played his part, no question about that. I'm pleased, because we see the talent in the boy. We're going to trust that talent. Eventually in three or four years' time, we're all going to see that.
"He's made one or two mistakes, the introduction to English football has been different for him. It's not what he's used to in Spain. But today he's shown he's prepared to get in amongst it and he did a great job."