Mature Manchester vs Bayern history

MUNICH - Manchester United's recent away record in the Champions League is proof of their maturity and they will use that experience to overcome a proud Bayern Munich, coach Alex Ferguson said on Monday.

United, who have won all four Champions League away fixtures this season, want to reach their fourth semi-final in a row but Ferguson warned they were up against "history" in Tuesday's quarter-final first leg in Germany.

"It's a game with two clubs with great history and it puts an edge on the game. You cannot forget the record of Bayern in Europe," Ferguson told reporters.

"We are playing history and with teams with history there is a certain pride and we have to contend with that tomorrow."

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Ferguson said, however, his team had become effective at getting results away from home.

"We have matured as a team in Europe. I think it is now 17 away games undefeated," Ferguson said. "We understand how to play in Europe.

"I think with the return of (Nemanja) Vidic and (fellow defender Rio) Ferdinand ...(keeper Edwin) Van der Sar's return ... you can see the solidity now, the experience, and it is making a massive difference.

"Strong in the back and strong as a team, and we look very strong now."

United will have Ferdinand and top striker Wayne Rooney fit to play after they were rested in their 4-0 win over Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday.


Rooney will need to add to his 33 goals this season to keep his coach happy.

"I think to score away from home is a big advantage and we must try to do that. Scoring is going to be important," Ferguson said.

"Wayne Rooney has had an exceptional season and he has elevated himself to one of the best players in the world. Rooney has been unbelievable this season and I hope it continues tomorrow."

Manchester, who have won the European Cup or Champions League title three times to Bayern's four, have surprisingly never beaten the Bavarians in European ties.

Their only win over them was the memorable 1999 Champions League final in Barcelona where Manchester scored twice in the dying seconds to snatch the title from Bayern's grasp.

"We have met a few times and I discovered we have never beaten them in a European tie apart from once in Barcelona," Ferguson, who took over in 1986, said with a laugh.

"We intend to change that."

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