Hand of fate pointed our way, says United’s FergusonMay 22nd, 2008 - 2:05 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, May 22 (DPA) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said his team seemed fated to become European champions for a third time in a victory in Moscow, coming 50 years after the team’s Munich air disaster. Watching in the Luzhniki Stadium were surviving United players of the 1958 crash that killed 23 people, and Ferguson said that “fate was pointing its hand” at his team after Chelsea captain John Terry slipped up as he took a penalty in the shootout.
Terry would have won the game for Chelsea had he scored, but the ball went wide of keeper Edwin van der Sar’s left-hand post.
The Dutch goalkeeper - a Champions League winner with Ajax in 1995 - then saved the decisive penalty from Nicolas Anelka to give the trophy to United.
Eight of the young United team formed by then-manager Matt Busby were killed in the 1958 disaster.
“I had said before the game we would not let down the memory of the Busby Babes,” Sir Alex said.
“I thought fate was pointing its hand today when John Terry slipped. It gave us an opening, and from then on I thought we were going to win.”
Ferguson praised his side’s first-half performance but said Chelsea got a lucky break with their equalizer just before half-time.
“We were outplaying them in the first half. The chances we created and some of the quality of the play was good,” he said.
“They got a lucky break, but that gave them impetus, and I thought they were the better team in the second half. I was quite happy to get extra-time, and I thought in extra-time we were the better team. I thought it was going to be tight, and it was.”
Ferguson said he felt as emotional as he did when United won 2-1 in the 1999 final against Bayern Munich with two goals in stoppage time.
“I feel very proud,” he said. “Sometimes you have to pinch yourself, but I think the great asset I have is I don’t get carried away with it. Tomorrow I will be thinking about the new season.”
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