Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he was happy to take a slim lead to Arsenal next week after John O'Shea's goal gave his side a 1-0 win in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday. The European champions dominated their Premier League rivals at Old Trafford but could not add to O'Shea's 17th-minute effort with Crsitiano Ronaldo going closest to a second with a dipping shot against the crossbar. "The most pleasing aspect is that before the game we said try and win and not lose a goal and we have done that and the performance level was very good so we have achieved that and I think we have given ourselves a good chance overall," Ferguson told a news conference. "We have players who can score goals and we will be a goal threat at their ground but the tie is not over. "Arsenal manager Arsene (Wenger) will be thinking it's been a good day for him, he could be out of the tie but he is not. "We always do things the hard way and this is another night when we have got our fans frustrated where we maybe should be into the final but we are not but we have done that many times. "We did it in the last round and we will have to go through the process of taking the game to the wire probably." Ferguson feels the fact that United have to win their next Premier League game Middlesbrough to maintain control of the title race while there is less pressure on Arsenal against Portsmouth is good for Wenger's men. "That's Arsenal's big advantage now, they could play (assistant manager) Pat Rice at right-back and Arsene at centre-forward if they like, it doesn't matter to them at Portsmouth," he said. "We have to play a team to win at Middlesbrough. It's a lunch-time kickoff and I don't think that's right but we will have to get on with it." CLOSING STAGES Ferdinand looks certain to miss Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough after he was injured in a challenge with Nicklas Bendtner in the closing stages. "He's gone for an X-ray and we will have to wait for the outcome of that but at the moment he's ok." Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has promised that Arsenal will put on a completely different display at the Emirates. Wenger acknowledged that his team were fortunate to be just a goal behind but is sure that they will show what they are made of in front of their own fans. "At home, I am convinced you will see a different Arsenal team and we still have a very good chance to reverse the result. "Football is like that and you can play tomorrow again and it will be a different game. We have the quality to do it and we believe that at home we can do that. "They could be deflated. I believe the tie is very open. They can have regrets because they didn't score a second and it's down to us to make them regret that they didn't score a second goal. "It's a good opportunity to show our character and mental strength and I'm confident you will see our strength of character." NEWS: O'Shea strike seals slim first leg lead for Sir Alex
30 April 2009
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