Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United lacked composure and failed to deal with Demba Ba in FA Cup exit

By Barrie White

An honest Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Manchester United failed to deal with the threat of Demba Ba as the Senegalese striker smashed the Red Devils’ dream of a double.

The former Newcastle United man’s superb hooked effort past a stranded David De Gea early in the second half was enough to seal a semi-final spot against Manchester City at Wembley.

Ferguson blamed a lack of concentration for Ba’s finish, but insisted his side did not do enough to win the FA Cup replay, particularly when in possession of the ball.

“We spoke about Ba and our experience with him back at Newcastle a couple of years ago,” said Ferguson.

“It was the same type of goal – we always have to be aware of that type of execution.

“We were caught napping to be honest with you, so the second half wasn’t a good start for us.

“After that, we lacked the composure to win the game. We had a lot of possession but we didn’t make the best use of it, and on the counter-attack, they caused us a lot of problems.”

Ferguson was without Wayne Rooney, claiming the England striker picked up a groin strain on international duty, and started Robin van Persie on the bench before the Dutchman missed two great chances.

But while he felt Chelsea didn’t do enough to win the tie, he admitted United failed to give the reaction he expected of them, with only Javier Hernandez forcing a great save from Petr Cech.

But brushed aside any suggestion the opportunity to make a second all-Manchester semi-final in three years was lost in the first game at Old Trafford, where Chelsea came back from two down to draw.

“Fortunately we didn’t lose another goal, but I couldn’t see us scoring ourselves, apart from van Persie had a fantastic chance – he should have scored with that,”said Ferguson.

“There were a couple of headers and Cech made a fantastic save from Chicharito [Hernanez]. But we lacked composure when we had to chase the game.

“Forget about the second half at Old Trafford – we know we should have won that at half time.

“Here, first half was comfortable – we couldn’t see them being in it at all and were no great threat to us. We were comfortable, but the goal, as it always does, changed the game.”  

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks

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