WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

06/03/2013 10:28

Papers: Praise in defeat

James Lawton writes in The Independent...

United's huge resource of spirit undone by referee
Sometimes you cannot control your own fate. Sometimes it is taken away from you. So what can you do? If you are a football team filled with the most remarkable competitive instincts, you do what Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United did tonight. You fight Real Madrid with all your resources of spirit while lesser teams would collapse under the weight of their belief that the red card delivered to Nani, a potential match-winner, was a terrible assault on natural justice. United are out of Europe and immersed in controversy, some of their own making in the matter of the dropping of Wayne Rooney, but where they remain is among the most durable fighters in all of football. Even Jose Mourinho admitted the best team lost.

Naturally there is plenty of focus on Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir's decision to send off Nani and Sir Alex Ferguson's decision not to speak to the press. However, there was plenty of praise for United's performance collectively and individually. James Lawton, in the Independent, described Ryan Giggs as "the man who runs for ever" and says Danny Welbeck "suggests so often that he might well have precisely the same facility".

Praising Giggs, The Guardian's Jamie Jackson writes: "The recalibration of the Giggs game from youthful zephyr to midfield general has been one of modern football's greatest second acts. Approaching 40, he is the warrior in the United ranks who can still offer so much."

The Times pundit Tony Cascarino praised Danny Welbeck's performance, saying: "No matter where Welbeck popped up, he was intelligent and industrious; wherever he was, he made sure he asked questions of his opponents. Welbeck, with his speed and his directness, has always made defenders make decisions, but there is more to him than just a natural athlete. He is far smarter now." 

The Daily Mail's Martin Keown also spoke of Welbeck's promising display, adding: "His movement off the ball was excellent, his pace was electric and his link-up play with van Persie was intelligent."

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