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Sir Alex praised United’s patience and persistence, after The Reds claimed their second consecutive Carling Cup Title at Wembley on Sunday. Aston Villa went ahead early on through a penalty, before Owen and Rooney mounted a fantastic comeback…    

Nemanja Vidic gave away a penalty within 5 minutes, but escaped punishment as Martin O’Neil’s men took the early lead – James Milner sending Kuszczak the wrong way from the spot. But United pushed hard, and Michael Owen scored the equaliser, before Wayne Rooney nodded in the winner – his 28th goal of the season !, to hand Sir Alex his 26th major title in his 23 years at the club…

“If you go a goal down early in a cup final you’ve got a job to do, you need a lot of patience,”
said Sir Alex. “Once we scored we looked a lot stronger. The first half was a real ding-dong battle, it was a soft tiring pitch and it took its toll on the players. I was hoping we could get some tempo into our game, because in the first ten minutes Villa laid down the gauntlet to us and made us turn towards our own goal.”

The Gaffer conceded that he had no complaint about the spot-kick after just five minutes, and said Vidic may have been a bit lucky not to get sent-off !

“I don’t think there was any doubt about the penalty kick. As for whether Vidic should have been dismissed or not, I
think we got a lucky break there, he could have been sent off.”

Sir Alex had praise for Michael Owen, and was sad to see him limp-off with a hamstring twinge, “He’s not had a lot of football and the pitch probably wasn’t the best for him, You pick the team before you know the pitch conditions, and Michael isn’t suited to a heavy pitch like that. We paid the penalty for it.”

“That aside, I thought he was one of our best performers in the first half. He did really well for us and scored a goal to get us back in the game. He’s good at picking up crumbs. He’s as good as anybody at that. He and Rafael will go for scans tomorrow, I think Michael will be out for a few weeks.”

Sir Alex also hailed match-winner Wayne Rooney, after he headed in his 20th goal in his last 20 appearances, “His header wasn’t powerful but it was hard for him to get it up and over the keeper. It was a well placed header.”

But, the boss left his final word for the fans;
“The support was fantastic, they are so valuable. Whenever we really need them, they are there !”



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