Ferguson: The better team won

ROME - Barcelona's "killer" first goal and their ability to control a game once in front were decisive in their 2-0 Champions League final victory on Wednesday, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said. "I think the first goal was a killer for us," Ferguson told ITV. "We started brightly too. We got a bit nervous after that." United did make a good start but Samuel Eto'o netted after 10 minutes and the English side faded badly, with their defence looking especially shaky, and Lionel Messi wrapped up victory midway through the second half. "The first goal didn't help that's for sure," Ferguson said at a news conference. "It gave them the opportunity to keep possession, which they do well. "We didn't deal with it well enough. That really was the story. I think there's a disappointment in the performance and some individuals will say that themselves." The Scot, who lashed out at a reporter for asking if he still had the desire to win, could only marvel at Barca's passing ability. BAD GOAL "At the start of game we did really well," he said. "It was a bad goal to lose. You've got to give credit to a very good Barca team. If they get in front of you they're difficult to beat. "All the midfield players got possession of the ball and made it very difficult for us to get it back. When we did get possession after the goal we didn't do well enough with it." He added: "They are among the best at what they do. They pursue their philosophy and don't change." United rarely fail to score and Ferguson had no explanation. "We had plenty of time," Ferguson told ITV. "We had some half-chances in the second half but in fairness we were beaten by a better team." He also told Sky Sports: "They were two bad goals to lose at this level especially when we have really excelled defending this season." United central defender Rio Ferdinand said his team, who failed to become the first to defend the trophy in the Champions League era, had not produced their best football. "I don't think there's one of us out there can say we played well to be honest, as individuals or collectively," he said. "(The first goal) was a bit of a sucker punch. We'd had a few good chances before that. "But no excuses, not on today's performance. They were the better team. Special moments decide these games and they were deserved winners today." UNITED FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter BARCELONA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: Q&A Samuel Eto'o, Cesc Fabregas Web Exclusives Cesc Fabregas, Gary Lineker One on One Mark Hughes, Thierry Henry, Ronaldo Perfect XI Gheorghe Hagi, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman Plus! Rate Barca players (and others) on Talentspotter