Smalling relishing Chelsea clash

04 April 2011 10:30

Chris Smalling is still smarting over the penalty decision which cost Manchester United in last month's defeat at Chelsea as he prepares for Wednesday night's Champions League showdown at Stamford Bridge.

United will travel to west London for their quarter-final first leg five weeks after losing 2-1 in the Barclays Premier League to their arch-rivals, with Smalling controversially adjudged to have tripped Yury Zhirkov to concede the spot-kick for what proved the Blues' winning goal.

Smalling said: "I still don't think it was a penalty and that I was hard done by. But you get those in your career and what's important is how you react.

He added: "I've managed to be involved, play games and keep my momentum going. I don't feel I've got anything to prove."

The Chelsea defeat sparked United's first real wobble of the season and they also went down 3-1 at Liverpool. But they won their next three matches in all competitions before producing a trademark sensational late comeback to beat West Ham on Saturday.

With Arsenal and Chelsea both drawing, the 4-2 win left United a clear run at the Premier League title, while the treble remains very much on for Ferguson's side.

Smalling, 21, has played a massive part during what is his maiden season at Old Trafford, playing 27 times as Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have struggled with injury.

He added of Wednesday's game: "It's another massive stage for myself. To be able to play in these latter stages of the Champions League is what most players in the world would dream to be a part of.

"Rio has guided me all the way through and it's great to see him getting back training. He's had such bad luck with injury.

"We're starting to get everyone back now and we need them at this important stage of the season."

Source: PA