Manchester United were held to 2-2 draw at Old Trafford by Chelsea on Sunday’s sixth round FA Cup tie. After taking an early lead, United were undone by the holders’ comeback in the second half.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated that he believes his team were ‘lucky’ to hold on for the draw against the Blues.
"We're lucky to be in the cup. We just ran out of legs and Chelsea were far the better team in the second half," Ferguson said.
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez appeared to ‘snub’ the handshake offered by Ferguson after the game.
However the former Liverpool coach revealed he believed it was Ferguson’s decision.
"I was waiting for him at the beginning, so you should ask him. I have education. I was ready,” said Benitez.
"I know a lot of people were watching and I knew what to do."
Ferguson also asserted his belief that ‘fatigue’ had played a role in United’s concession of Chelsea’s two goals.
"I can't be critical of the side because the running they had to do on Tuesday night, against a really top side in Real Madrid, had its bearing on today's result. There's no doubt about that,” said the Scot.
The Mirror asserts that Rio Ferdinand should be punished for a ‘push’ on Fernando Torres in the game on Sunday.
If United can overcome Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the replay of Sunday’s game they could face rivals Manchester City.
However, the FA now faces a fixture ‘conundrum’ as the replay of Sunday’s draw needs to be scheduled according to whether Chelsea progress in the Europa League so the FA intend to wait to reschedule it.
United’s league clash with City in the Manchester derby may be moved a result.
Rio Ferdinand revealed he believes United were careless with their lead o Sunday.
"We were playing some great football but we were also careless at times. At this level, if you're careless you'll get punished. Today that was the case,” said the veteran defender.
In transfer news, Bayern Munich have stated they would welcome the signing of Wayne Rooney, should he opt to make an exit from Old Trafford.
"I would be very, very happy if Wayne Rooney decided to come to Bayern Munich," Franz Beckenbauer said.
"But is this a rumour or is it true? I don't know!"
“Cristiano is under contract and we are very happy with him,” said Emilio Butragueno.
I other news, England legend Paul Gascoigne has thanked United and England for their support through his battle with addiction and mental health issues.
“Sir Alex reminded me I’m a fighter. He said he was speaking on behalf of all United players and everyone was rooting for me,” he revealed.
"I was blown away watching people like Sir Alex telling me to stay strong and pull through. It all means so much to me."
image: © Paolo camera