Sir Alex - Too close to call

Sir Alex Ferguson insists that there is nothing to choose between Manchester United and Chelsea.

The two sides meet at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final.

It is the first time since 2008 that the two clubs have clashed in Europe since their meeting in the final in Moscow, when United came through on penalties.

The two sides have dominated English football in recent years, winning the last six league titles between them.

"Between us and Chelsea, there is no difference," Ferguson told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It's two teams with plenty of champions, great experience and winning coaches.

"The small details will define the tie."

Despite winning the Double last season, the pressure is on coach Carlo Ancelotti, with speculation widespread that he will leave in the summer with only the Champions League still available for the Blues to win.

But Ferguson is mystified as to why people are predicting his departure, saying: "I cannot understand how you can criticise Ancelotti, who won the Double in his first season at Chelsea.

"It's the fault of the current media atmosphere. They invent problems where there are none. I am certain Carlo reacts like me.

"He ignores the media so that your decisions, your philosophy and your mental health are not affected by it.

"How can Chelsea think of changing a coach like him?"

Ferguson also backed Chelsea's major January signing Fernando Torres to come good, but he hopes it is not against them.

"Of course he will start scoring," Ferguson said. "I just hope he waits a little bit, at least until after the tie against us.

"When Chelsea signed him, everyone said what a great signing he was, and rightly so.

"Now everyone says that it was a mistake. Can people be more ridiculous?

"Of course he needs time to adapt."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 6 April 2011