Statistics & post-match quotes from Sir Alex Ferguson, Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney, and Eamonn Dolan.
The Busby Babe
Shots (on target)
|16 (4)||5 (0)|
Total Passes Completed
MUFC PLAYER STATISTICS
* David de Gea (goalkeeper): 6/12 passing (50%), 0 goals conceded, 0 saves
* Rio Ferdinand (right-center-back): 61/65 passing (94%), 3 chances created, 6/7 long balls, 1 tackle, 4 interceptions, 9 clearances (6 effective), 0 shots blocked, 0 fouls, 1 assist
* Nemanja Vidic (left-center-back): 37/43 passing (86%), 0 chances created, 5/5 long balls, 1 tackle, 1 interceptions, 18 clearances (10 effective), 0 shots blocked, 0 fouls
* Chris Smalling (right-back): 38/45 passing (84%), 1 chance created, 1/4 crosses, 2/4 long balls, 0 successful dribbles, 1 tackle, 2 interceptions, 5 clearances (2 effective), 0 shots blocked, 0 fouls
* Alexander Buttner (left-back): 34/42 passing (81%), 0 chances created, 0/1 crosses, 2/3 long balls, 1 successful dribble, 4 tackles, 3 interceptions, 6 clearances (4 effective), 0 shots blocked, 1 foul
* Ryan Giggs (central-midfield): 54/64 passing (84%), 0 chances created, 0/3 crosses, 2/7 long balls, 0/1 through balls, 1 successful dribble, 3 tackles, 1 interception, 0 shots
* Anderson (central-midfield | substituted off 85'): 51/53 passing (96%), 2 chances created, 0/1 crosses, 5/6 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 0 shots
* Danny Welbeck (right-winger): 29/33 passing (88%), 2 chances created, 0/2 crosses, 0/0 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 1 successful dribble, 2 fouls won, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 4 shots (0 on target)
* Ashley Young (left-winger | substituted off 74'): 20/21 passing (95%), 1 chance created, 0/2 crosses, 1/1 long balls, 0/1 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 3 fouls won, 1 tackle, 2 interceptions, 2 shots (0 on target)
* Wayne Rooney (striker): 30/35 passing (86%), 3 chances created, 1/3 crosses, 5/6 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 2 fouls won, 4 shots (2 on target), 1 goal
* Robin van Persie (striker): 15/19 passing (79%), 0 chances created, 0/5 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/1 through balls, 1 successful dribble, 1 foul won, 5 shots (2 on target)
* Michael Carrick (central-midfielder | substituted on 74'): 22/25 passing (88%), 0 chances created, 0/0 crosses, 2/2 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 2 tackles, 0 interceptions, 0 shots
* Shinji Kagawa (central-midfielder | substituted on 85'): 6/6 passing (100%), 1 chance created, 1/1 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 tackles, 0 interceptions, 0 shots
Sir Alex Ferguson | MUFC manager (courtesy of MUTV)
(On now being 15-points clear in the title-race...) "You don't get points and medals for being complacent and we won't be. I think the players are conscious of the importance of the games now and that concentration, which has improved, has helped us do that [in terms of keeping clean sheets]. I think, before the game, we always thought that winning was the important thing today. It wasn't a great performance but where we are now is not down to today, but the last six months. The team has shown great consistency and played a lot of great football. Our goal difference is big over [Manchester] City now - 13 goals. It's a great position to be in, but the only thing we can do is win our next game."
(On the upcoming international break...) "The problem I've got is a lot of players are away on international duty and play two games. They come back and then we've got a lunchtime game against Sunderland on Saturday [30 March] and then it's lunchtime again against Chelsea on the Monday [1 April]. We have a squad to use it and that's what we did today.
(On the club paying for private jets for some players about to go out on international duty...) "We are making arrangements for some players to fly home by privately hired jet after their matches to make sure they get home as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Tiredness is a great leveller but we'll do our utmost to make sure we field the freshest possible teams. Private planes are going to cost the club an awful lot of money but it is something we feel we have to do."
Nemanja Vidic | MUFC defender (courtesy of MUTV)
(Overall thoughts...) "We will take the three points but we didn’t get them easily. You want to win your games and play for your country during the international break without any bad feelings and we have done that. Now, we just have to think about the next games that are coming."
(On the title-race...) "If you look at the 15-point lead, you have to say that it is a big gap and we shouldn’t let anything change. We have the title in our hands but we have games still to play and some especially tough away games that are traditionally hard for us. Nothing is finished yet, but we’re in a good position. Sometimes you can feel the fans in the stands getting nervous because they think about last season. I don’t think we should allow that to happen again. We are in a good position now. We should relax and enjoy playing football. It is a good time for us."
(On getting the clean-sheet...) "It’s important. Today we didn’t play good football but we got the three points because we defended as a team and a group. I think the team worked well. Maybe it wasn’t a good performance attacking-wise, but I have to give the attackers credit as well because they fought for the team and helped us keep a clean sheet which is why we got the three points."
Wayne Rooney | MUFC attacker (courtesy of ESPN)
(Overall thoughts and on the title-race...) "You have to be professional. We know we're in a fantastic position - nine games to go and 15 points clear - but as professional players, we have to do our job week in, week out and try to win football matches. Whether we're top of the table, second or if the league's won, we have to keep going and try to win our games. We knew three points was the most important thing today, especially after City dropped points, but it was a tough game. It's always nice to score, deflection or not, it's a goal and, thankfully, it's won us the game. It was great, obviously, that City lost but we had to back that up with three points.
Eamonn Dolan | RFC caretaker manager (courtesy of ReadingFC.com)
(Overall thoughts...) "I'm just disappointed to lose. We put in a very good performance, the players gave everything as they always have done, but it just didn't go our way. To play Manchester United at Old Trafford is a daunting task, but that's the league we're in. And if you want to stay in the league you've got to equip yourselves well and today we did that. You look at the game in context. They had Rooney, Van Persie, Vidic, Ferdinand - just take a look at the players on their bench! But our boys really gave a good account of themselves and that's what Reading Football Club is about. I thought we had a clear penalty when Vidic pushed over Mariappa and that's the sort of luck you need to get a result here. I've seen it again on the replays and it's a clear penalty. Vidic and Mariappa are watching the ball, Vidic looks at him and pushes him - it's a clear penalty. But it's Manchester United away, so you don't get it! We worked very hard for four days on the best way we felt would be to get a result. With a bit of luck, we could have got a draw. We made them work really, really hard for the win, that's for sure. If we'd come into today with four wins behind us, I think we would have got a result - that's the way football works sometimes."
(More on referee not awarding Reading the penalty...) "It was a clear penalty but I think the referee thought I was on work experience and, 'perfect a little 1-0 loss for Reading' and would be fine. I wouldn't have expected that from the referee but what can you do?"
(On the away supporters...) "I wanted to go over to the fans, I love the fans - I love to see their passion. The fans have spent all that money, come all this way, at the end, you see their reaction, they could see that the players had given everything. You can't ask for more than that."
(On the squad and the club's desperation to avoid the drop...) "They're good footballers and they're really nice people. We've got eight games to go, and it looks tough at the moment. But we can do it. We've targeted the games we can win, and if we win them we'll stay in the league. This is a great football club. Personally, I'm desperate for it not to take a little step back. There are lots of positives from tonight, but we've got to build on them very, very quickly. Everyone wants to be back here next year, not in the cup, but in the Premier League. It's a big task, but we believe we can achieve it."