Carlos Tevez's tremendous performance was the silver lining in the cloud of defeat for United in the UEFA Super Cup final.
Sir Alex Ferguson picked out the striker's display as a highlight, saying: "I thought Tevez was the outstanding player on the pitch, I thought he was fantastic, our best player."
The Argentinian's tenacity helped the Reds to come back from two goals down against Zenit St Petersburg and almost take the game into extra time. He was at the heart of virtually every attack, creating chances including the one converted by Nemanja Vidic.
"I thought we had the best chances throughout the match," added Sir Alex.
"There was one in the first half for Wayne Rooney, and some in the second half when we were 2-0 down. That was when we played probably our best football.
"I think it was an open game, I think both teams did very well. The players have put a good effort in on a warm night and there were a lot of tired players at the end of it."
Sir Alex was gracious in defeat and said fans enjoyed an entertaining spectacle.
"I think it was a good, open game and both teams put a lot of effort in on a very hot night. We congratulate Zenit St Petersburg on their victory.
"They're a very good team with good movement. They’re strong. I think they’ll have a good chance [in the Champions League]."