Register Login Live

International

Fergie's Calculated Gamble

Alex Ferguson took a calculated risk ahead of Manchester United’s match against Everton on Sunday, with their Champions League clash with Real Madrid just around the corner.

The United manager had wanted to make wholesale changes to his line-up to face the Toffees, to keep their powder dry for the major European challenge of facing Jose Mourinho’s Spanish champions.

However, Manchester City’s shock defeat to Southampton earlier during the weekend provided Fergie with an opportunity that was too good to miss, and he held back on making too many changes to his regular first-team.

The result was a comfortable win over Everton, which twisted the knife in City’s back, leaving United an almost unassailable 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League table- their biggest league advantage in 12 years.

After the match, Fergie admitted that City’s defeat left United in a “fantastic position”, which he felt they needed to capitalise on by seeing off the Toffees.

"I was going to make seven changes," Ferguson said.

"Then when I got the [City] result I thought this would be a more important game for us. It would give us a comfortable lead and we could make changes later on in the season.

“Realistically we knew if we got a result it would put us in a fantastic position.”

Asked if the league trophy is now firmly on its way to the Old Trafford trophy cabinet again, Fergie would not take the bait.

“No, No,” he said.

“We have to win our games anyway. It doesn't matter what happened to City. That is the way we should look at it. I've said it for weeks – concentrate on our own game and we'll be OK."

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if the gamble of resting just Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa ahead of the Real clash will scupper United’s European chances.

Real manager and Fergie’s unlikely friend, Jose Mourinho, was at Old Trafford to watch the Red Devils in action, and he saw enough to make him suggest a red hot tie is afoot.

"It is the match the world is waiting for," Mou said.

"The world is not waiting for other matches in the Champions League so I hope we can give the world what they are waiting for."

Will Fergie’s EPL gamble come back to haunt him in the Champions League?

nextarticle

PSG In Cruise Control

14 comments

Top 5

The 6 Risks And Doubts For Soweto Derby

33 Feb 18, 2020 01:36 PM in Soweto Derby

The Highest-Paid Players In Europe Revealed

12 Feb 11, 2020 07:14 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Official: Khenyeza Appointed In Head Coach Role

38 Feb 18, 2020 11:37 AM in GladAfrica Championship

Man City Could Be Relegated To League Two

43 Feb 17, 2020 06:28 PM in English Premier League

Middendorp On Title Race Turning Point

69 Feb 17, 2020 02:22 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Man City Could Be Relegated To League Two

43 Feb 17, 2020 06:28 PM in English Premier League

Pitso Reveals What 'Angry' Zwane Said After Sub

66 Feb 15, 2020 07:30 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Breaking! Man City Banned From UCL For Two Seasons

34 Feb 14, 2020 08:48 PM in UEFA Champions League

4 Pipes Only: Did You See Mathoho’s Yellow Luxury Ride Squad?

1 Feb 19, 2020 08:00 AM in Stars & Their Cars

Pep's Stance If City Get Relegated To League Two Revealed

15 Feb 18, 2020 11:29 AM in English Premier League

Soweto Derby Focus – Zinnbauer On Chiefs Reality

26 Feb 18, 2020 09:18 AM in Soweto Derby

The 10 Richest Footballers In The World

28 Nov 24, 2019 07:17 PM in World News

Khanye: Chiefs Are Very Predictable

80 Feb 18, 2020 02:32 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

9 Players Who Left Barca Because Of Messi

29 Nov 03, 2019 10:21 AM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Middendorp: We Must Forget About The Title Race

43 Feb 18, 2020 07:31 AM in Kaizer Chiefs