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Football title triumph has Fergie bouncing to Moscow

SoccerNews in English Premier League 12 May 2008


Sir Alex Ferguson claims Manchester United will be 'bouncing' all the way to Moscow for next week's Champions League final after a 2-0 win at Wigan secured the club's 10th Premier League title.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs — on the day he equalled Bobby Charlton's 758-game all-time appearance record for the club — clinched the league for United ahead of the European clash against Chelsea in the Luzhniki Stadium on May 21.

And Ferguson insists that Premier Legue success can now provide a launchpad for more glory in Moscow.

Ferguson said: “We are bouncing into the Champions League final. If we had lost the title at Wigan, it would have been difficult because when we lost the title at West Ham in 1995, we went into the FA Cup final and we were dead.

“The team was flat the following Saturday and we lost 1-0 against Everton. But we are not dead this time – we are alive.

“It was always a fear, though. Not just to lose the title, but looking forward to the Champions League Final, after losing the title, would have been hard for us.

“But we are relaxed about it now. Cup finals are supposed to be difficult anyway and it won't be easy, but there is a good feel about this team.”

Welsh midfielder Giggs can now break Charlton's record if he faces Chelsea in the Russian capital and Ferguson admitted it was fitting that the veteran scored the crucial goal that wrapped up the victory.

He said: “It was fantastic for Ryan to get the goal that matters, but maybe it was fate. He deserves it because he's been a credit to the game and having known him for 20 years, to equal Bobby's record on the day he scores the goal for us, well it's just fantastic.

“It was amazing. As soon as it started raining, I was thinking, 'how am I going to get Giggs into this game?' because he is fantastic on soft ground with his balance and ability to beat a man.”

With Ferguson approaching his 67th birthday in December, there have been suggestions that he could retire if United win the European Cup against Chelsea. But the Scot insisted that he has no intention of walking away from Old Trafford.

Ferguson said: “Retire? That wife of mine just bullies me, so she'd throw me out of the door at seven o'clock in the morning! So that's a definite no. Oh no, I dare not risk the wrath of that lass from the Gorbals. She's quite a formidable person!

“I am proud to have survived for so long, but it is easier for me than the rest because I am at such a great club. How would I be without this? Please tell me.”

Wigan manager Steve Bruce, who captained United to their first two Premier League titles in the early-1990s, had seen the motivation of his team questioned ahead of the game due to his United connections.

But he claimed that questions should now be asked of referee Steve Bennett following his failure to dismiss Paul Scholes for two yellow cards and award Wigan a penalty prior to handing United the first-half spot-kick from which Ronaldo scored the opener.

Bruce said: “You should ask the referee about his integrity, not ask me about the integrity of my team!

“Thankfully there was nothing riding on it for us, but there were three decisions in the first-half that were unbelievable. They were three big decisions.”


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