• Premier League What They Said

Ferguson admits United were lucky

ESPN staff
February 26, 2012 « Rooney withdraws from England squad | Chartbeat test »
Ryan Giggs scored a last-gasp winner on his 900th Manchester United appearance © PA Photos

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Manchester United were fortunate to take three points away from Carrow Road after Ryan Giggs' late winner clinched a 2-1 win over Norwich.

"I have to stay we were lucky today in a sense. Although we made a host of chances, Danny Welbeck could have scored four today. I thought Norwich were the better team, they kept crossing the ball in the box and in the first half they had 12 crosses. When we got the ball down, fine, but when we were without the ball I don't think we played that well.

"For Ryan to score the winning goal with the last kick of the ball in his 900th match, he probably deserves that for the career he has had."

Paul Lambert believed Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea denied Norwich from taking a point.

"That was a huge performance by us. We gave everything. We were running on empty, but I couldn't fault our lads. Manchester United come at you from all angles, but I couldn't ask for any more. It was a poor goal to lose but the pleasing thing was, when you lose that goal early, you don't capitulate, and we never did that. We hung in and the United goalkeeper probably saved his best game for against us - some of his saves were magnificent."

After beating Swansea at home, Tony Pulis rejected suggestions he had sacrificed his side's Europa League hopes in order to get the three points. He said: ""If there's a criticism levied at me then it should be for the first team I picked against Valencia, because we didn't play well that night, but the team that went to Valencia did smashing and created more chances and gave them a better game.

"We went there to have a go, but whichever way you do it you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, and that's football. I'm big enough to take it. My chairman was really pleased with the teams I picked in both games and he's the one I answer to."

He then added: "It's very important we get the points on the board as quick as we can. It's a tough league and I don't care what anybody says, as soon as you start taking your foot off and think that you've got a right to be in this league, that's the time you've got to pack in and get out."

Brendan Rodgers' job was made more difficult after Michel Vorm was ruled out ahead of the match due to illness, but the manager praised debutant Gerhard Tremmel's performance: "I thought Gerhard Tremmel dealt well with most of what he had to do. I thought some of our play was very good but we were disappointed with the two goals we conceded because we obviously know the threat that Stoke have.

"Their quality into the box is very good and they get people on the end of it. We're disappointed with the scoreline but performance-wise I thought there were a lot of good moments."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.