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Nani's audacity impresses Fergie

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25 Apr 2010 09:15:00

Nani's audacity impresses Fergie

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised Nani after his virtuoso display in Saturday's 3-1 Premier League home win over Tottenham. Ferguson was in good spirits after the match even though his United side will almost certainly have to try to win the title without Wayne Rooney. The 34-goal striker missed the Spurs match at Old Trafford with a groin injury he picked up in training on Thursday and although Ferguson has not completely given up on Rooney being fit for his side's final two games, things do not look good. "We are looking at two or three weeks," admitted the United boss. "He tweaked a groin during a simple passing exercise. "We will give him every chance because he is desperate to play but we will have to wait and see." As Rooney returned far quicker than Ferguson stated from a sprained ankle suffered in the Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich, the England forward's presence at either Sunderland next week, or the season-ending home clash with Stoke on May 9 cannot entirely be discounted. If he is forced to watch, as he did from an executive box on Saturday, the 24-year-old knows he will be shredding his fingernails. United did not quite leave it as late as the last-gasp win over Manchester City to defeat in-form Spurs but there were less than 10 minutes remaining when Nani converted the impudent effort that put them in front. As he raced onto Federico Macheda's lay-off, the Portugal winger went for a delicate chip from an acute angle, producing a finish fellow-countryman Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of. "It was a great ball from Federico and Nani needed audacity and courage to chip the keeper from such a tight angle," said Ferguson. "Not many players would have even tried that." Ryan Giggs wrapped up the victory four minutes from time, when he coolly slotted home his second penalty of the afternoon after Nani had been sent crashing by Wilson Palacios. Considering Giggs had not taken one in his entire career before Benoit Assou-Ekotto dived in on Patrice Evra when the game was still goalless, the veteran midfielder took the spot-kicks in pretty nerveless fashion, finding the bottom corner on both occasions. "I left it between Ryan and Nani to decide who would take them," said Ferguson. "His experience showed in the end because he took two really good penalties." The victory sent United back to the top of the Premier League and piled the pressure on favourites Chelsea, who are now two points adrift and face Stoke at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. "We hope that is what this result has done," said Ferguson. "The main thing is we are top of the table with two games left. "Who is to say what is going to happen? We have done our job." It was left to Ferguson's old friend Harry Redknapp to strike a more positive note on United's behalf, having been disappointed with his own side's efforts. "After beating Arsenal and Chelsea, then coming here to face a team without Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, I am disappointed with the outcome," said Redknapp. "At 1-1 with 10 minutes to go I would have taken a point. That would have made a massive difference for us. "The pressure is back on Chelsea that's for sure. They are not top any more and they have difficult games. "Stoke don't lie down for anyone and they also have to go to Liverpool, which is a massive game. "In all honesty I can see Manchester United picking up six points from their final two matches - I would be surprised if they didn't. "It is not going to be easy for Chelsea."


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