29/03/2008 20:52, Report by Ben Hibbs

O'Neill: United are class act

Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill was left awestruck by United’s “terrific” performance in the 4-0 win over his side on Saturday.

O’Neill, unlike some managers that bring their teams to Old Trafford, refused to shut up shop and try to frustrate the Reds. You may ask why if it means losing so comprehensively. But the Villa boss says United’s performance is something every team should aspire to.

“That is why Manchester United are a class act,” he said. “We lost at home to Sunderland last week and I was very down. We’ve lost 4-0 at Old Trafford, but I’m actually OK.

“We went at it with everything we had. I think that’s why Manchester United enjoy playing against us. We try to play and we don’t try to close the game up.

“You have to go and play. Isn’t that the enthralling part of football? What’s the point in coming to Old Trafford and putting ten players behind the ball and have them break you down eventually? Having witnessed Manchester United’s performance, that’s what you have to aspire to. It really was terrific stuff.

“I thought we had quite a bit of possession of the ball. The difference was that we didn’t close them down enough and prevent them having time and space on the ball, because that is when they will cut you open. They are a very fine side, there is no question about that.”


Premier League