Fletcher - Lessons learned

Darren Fletcher is confident Manchester United can still reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and hopes lessons have been learned from the first leg against Bayern Munich.

United enjoyed a dream start in the Allianz Arena when Wayne Rooney scored for last season's runners-up with barely a minute on the clock.

But the Red Devils struggled thereafter and Bayern claimed a deserved 2-1 win through late goals from Franck Ribery and Ivica Olic.

Rooney also picked up an ankle injury moments before Olic's winner and the striker is doubtful for next week's return at Old Trafford.

Fletcher, though, remains upbeat about the prospects of overturning the deficit and feels United now know what to expect from Louis van Gaal's Bayern side.

"It's not insurmountable," Fletcher told the club's official website. "Although we're disappointed to have lost two late goals, 2-1 isn't the worst result in the world.

"We now know what we have to do at home.

"We certainly respected Bayern before this match and we've still got great respect for them. They're a very good side. You don't play any bad sides in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"We've learned a lot about Bayern and about ourselves tonight and we'll take all that into the match at Old Trafford next Wednesday.

"The Bayern midfielders pressed the ball quite quickly and got numbers behind the ball. It was difficult in there, but you expect that when you go away from home in Europe.

"We knew Bayern would have a lot of possession and we'll be looking to do the same next week. We're confident against anyone at Old Trafford.

"We know what to expect from Bayern Munich and we'll be ready for their challenge."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 31 March 2010

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The result would've been alright for me if it wasn't for Rooney's news. Really time for Berbatov to step up.

- Abner

I agree, but even before last night's result I would have said a draw Saturday would be a good result and still leaves the title in our hands, which is always what you want going into April.

- Shaun

i think right now a draw would be a good result

- Shaun

Awful performance, potentially bad news about Rooney - but we move on. Carrick's form is very disappointing, but that doesn't undo three seasons of generally excellent performances; a bigger problem with our midfield is that Scholes simply can't play at that tempo anymore, and when the three weren't performing as we would like the injuries to Hargreaves and Anderson meant we couldn't change things. The encouraging thing was that, in the couple of half-decent attacks Nani/Park/Fletcher put together in support of Rooney in the first half, Bayern looked very, very vulnerable defensively. Saturday will be a seriously nervy occasion, but even assuming Rooney isn't available, we are a formidable team at Old Trafford with something near our first-choice back four; the midfield surely can't play that badly twice in the same week (it's very rare that a Ferguson side doesn't respond to a poor performance with a much improved one) and, while we may lose a bit of edge up front without Rooney, it would be a great opportunity for Berbatov to prove he's the player we know he's capable of being. And, with Arsenal's slip-up last week, a draw with Chelsea wouldn't be the end of the world.

- Neil

2-1 is not the end of the world, you saw what we did to Milan at OT and we can do it again. Poor performance in the second half with Chelsea on Saturday we will be in trouble again if we play like that. I am fearing the worst about our next two games, massive game saturday that we will need to put everything into to get something out of it. Then the second leg next wednesday on the back of that will be very difficult! ...All of this potentially without Rooney as well

- m_u_f_c

Surprisingly, Jamie Redknapp summed it up best. We played 3 in midfield to control the game and got out doen by their 2 midfielders. Van Bommel was made to look world class with his control of the game and bursts foward. Id would have taken the result at the start i guess and we are more than capable of beating them at OT. We could ahve scored 3 on another night playing badly so an improved performance and they are there to be got at. Maybe the defeat is better than the draw because it means we have to go for the win and bayern will be happy to hold firm (at lot like how the agem went when we scored so early) as for the players today. where do you start? Nevilles handball was stupid and our younger players would be getting destroyed if it was their mistake. Same with Evra. Carrick is so far below the standard of being a United midfielder its stupid. Ive said that before but yet another big games go by Carrick. Lets hope Rooney isnt as bad as first feared and can be fit asap. If he can only play 1 of the next 2 which would you choose? Chelsea for me.

- birchy

Was it me or did the team look fatigued? There were times when Van Bommel just breezed through our midfield and Scholes and Fletcher were quite literally watching him run by... And it was a poor handball from Neville.. Really thought it was pointless

- mohsin

The injury to Rooney isn't as bad as it first looked. At the moment we'll just have to wait and see what it's like when the inevitable swelling goes down.

- John

Obviously gutted about the result, but we could still overturn that in the second leg. Its the injury to Rooney thats a killer. It looked bad enough to keep him out of both the next 2 games atleast. Its going to take a special effort over the next 8 days to still be in the european cup and remain top of the league. Truly terrible night.

- twoc2002

That's a less than perfect end to the game in my opinion.

- rbw91