Sir Alex Ferguson managed to get the better of long-time rival Jose Mourinho as Manchester United maintained their hunt for five trophies this season with a 2-0 win over Inter Milan at Old Trafford, going through on aggregate by the same score.
Prior to this game, Ferguson had beaten Mourinho just once in their 13 previous meetings, but goals from Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo eased United into the last eight of the Champions League.
Both goals were headers, and both came in the fourth minute of each half against the Serie A leaders, who twice hit the woodwork at Old Trafford via Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano.
“It was a long European night,” sighed Sir Alex Ferguson. “I didn’t know if it was a game of football or a game of suicide. “We started off very well and once we scored the first goal I thought we would go on and kill them. “But then we opened the door for them with too many flicks, backheels and passes into space and were lucky to be in front at half-time.”
Mourinho came under verbal attack from the Italian journalists, who claimed he had only been hired to win the Champions League.
“They always like to find their own reasons for football things,” scoffed Mourinho at his inquisitors. “I prefer to analyse the situation. I can’t speak for the past 50 years. I can only talk about the last four or five. “The first thing I will do is have a meeting with my president to explain to him why we got knocked out and what we have to do. I am accountable to him. He is the person I need to speak to about how we reach the next stage. “But there is not a psychological barrier. I am sad that we lost but there is no reason why we cannot go on to win the Scudetto (Serie A).”