Big teams lie in wait as wonder-goal sinks Manchester United in final Champions League group tie

By Paddy von Behr

Sir Alex Ferguson is not underestimating the teams that lie in wait for Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League.

United lost their final game of the group stage to CFR Cluj, courtesy of a 56th minute goal from Luis Alberto.

The Reds still topped the group, but Ferguson doesn’t think that will give his side an easier run in the competition.

“We have won the group but we know the likes of Shakhtar, Milan, Porto, all the big names, are in there,” he said.

“We qualified comfortably but the real tournament starts at the end of February. The knockout stages are fantastic.”

United dominated possession at Old Trafford and created the better chances, but their young side couldn’t capitalise.

And Alberto struck ten minutes after the break with the games decisive goal – a stunning 25-yard strike.

“It was a wonder goal that beat us,” added Ferguson.

“We didn’t deserve that, we created some good chances but when you lose a goal like that you can have no complaints.

“We had a young side out and I felt we did very well at times.”

United rested a number of big names ahead of the weekend’s Manchester derby, the winner of which will go top of the Premier League.

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