Sunday, June 23, 2024
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United’s defending is agony for Ferguson

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MANCHESTER: Alex Ferguson described watching his Manchester United side’s defending in the topsy-turvy 4-3 victory over Reading on Saturday as agony.

United conceded three times in the opening 23 minutes of a rollercoaster first half at the Madejski Stadium but scored four times themselves before the interval to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

“It was agony, the worst defending of this season, and we needed to do something about it,” Ferguson, who hauled off defender Rafael in the farcical first half, said.

“I thought it was going to be a record score in the Premier League at halftime. It was unbelievable.

“We’re needing to rescue the situation all the time. Fortunately we have players who can do that.

“We saw it through and had two really good opportunities from Robin (van Persie) to finish it off but I was just glad to get over the line. If we defend like that against Manchester City (next weekend), I might need to play myself.”

United have conceded the first goal numerous times this season and have had their defence breached 21 times as they struggle to cope with the absence of the injured Nemanja Vidic.

In attack, however, they remain lethal.

Wayne Rooney scored twice, once from the penalty spot, on Saturday, while van Persie’s 10th league goal of the season, a typically cool piece of finishing, proved to be the winner as the second half petered out. (Reuters)

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