Fergie - San Siro leg crucial

24 February 2009 07:43
Sir Alex Ferguson believes the decisive blow in Manchester United's UEFA Champions League tie with Inter Milan will be struck in the San Siro.[LNB] While Inter boss Jose Mourinho predicts the clash will go to extra-time at Old Trafford in a fortnight, Ferguson is looking at a far more rapid conclusion.[LNB]And that means an injury-hit United side grabbing a priceless away goal.[LNB]"I don't think it will go to extra-time - it will be decided tonight," said Ferguson.[LNB]"If we score we will have a great chance."[LNB]Not that Ferguson is dismissing Inter. Mourinho has only lost one of 12 head-to-head duels with the Scot, so that would be a foolhardy move.[LNB]"At this moment in time you cannot split the teams," he said.[LNB]"Inter have won Serie A three times in a row and are going to win it for a fourth time. They have experience; they have a really outstanding manager and some terrific footballers.[LNB]"It is a really big game. It would have been a great final."[LNB]Among the visitors to see United go through their paces at the San Siro ahead of the game was David Beckham, currently on loan at AC Milan.[LNB]HeadachesBeckham spent a happy hour with the Red Devils when he was reunited with Ferguson.[LNB]He then headed to United's team hotel, where he met former team-mates Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.[LNB]United go into the game with defensive headaches with Nemanja Vidic suspended, while Jonny Evans, Wes Brown, Gary Neville and Rafael da Silva are injured. John O'Shea is also struggling.[LNB]Ferguson's problem is compounded by his opinion that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Inter's best player, if not quite the world's best as Mourinho boldly claimed a couple of months ago.[LNB]The Swede has often failed to do himself justice on the biggest stage. But this season has been Ibrahimovic's best so far, which was threatening to cause the Red Devils a problem even before their defence was ripped apart.[LNB]"Without question, Ibrahimovic is their star player," said Ferguson.[LNB]"I have watched him for many years now. He has developed and is at an age now where you expect a bit of maturity. He is getting all the praise he deserves."[LNB]

Source: SKY_Sports