08/03/2013 22:32, Report by Nick Coppack

Boss: Lopez was Real star

Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez “saved” the Spanish side from a Champions League exit.

Lopez, only playing due to an injury to regular no.1 Iker Casillas, made a string of superb stops to deny Manchester United in Tuesday night’s clash at Old Trafford.

Speaking to the media for the first time since that disappointing evening, Sir Alex revealed he’d have preferred Casillas to have been fit.

“He wouldn’t have saved the shots that the boy Lopez did,” the manager said. “Going out to Danny Welbeck in the first half, going down at Robin van Persie’s feet, coming out and whacking Nemanja Vidic in the head... Casillas isn’t that type of goalkeeper and I think Lopez saved them.”

Assistant manager Mick Phelan spoke of a “distraught” dressing room on Tuesday night, but Sir Alex is confident the Reds will bounce back to winning ways when Chelsea visit Old Trafford in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

“We have a job to do on Sunday and I think we’ll do that okay. We’ve gone through this procedure many times. When you’re at a club for a long time there are always damp moments and dark days. In general we recover very well and we’ll do that again.”

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