'One of the best'

Alex Ferguson has hailed Manchester United’s savage performance in Germany last night as one of the best displays in his time as manager.

United won 2-0 at Schalke 04 thanks to goals from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, and it could have been even more, as the Reds ran riot in Gelsenkirchen. Giggs was guilty of a spectacular miss which would put the tie beyond doubt, but as it is Ferguson’s team are more or less guaranteed to be at the Champions League final at Wembley in May, where they will face either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

‘Juventus in 1999 will always be on the list of great performances away from home in Europe but this certainly ranks as one of them,’ Ferguson said. ‘The players have confidence and trust in each other and they are peaking.

‘Overall I was delighted. It was a top performance. We have had some fantastic performances in Europe during my time and this was right up there. The concentration issue is important away from home in Europe. It is a different tempo at times and requires really good concentration. Credit to the players - they have shown that throughout the campaign.

‘Over the past two or three years we have got a way of playing in Europe away from home. It requires some experience of course and the most important thing is to have confidence in possession of the ball.’

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