Sir Alex Ferguson praised Michael Owen after the Manchester United striker scored a hat-trick in Tuesday's 3-1 Champions League victory against Wolfsburg.
Despite fielding an inexperienced and experimental line-up, United were too strong for last season's Bundesliga champions, who now drop into the Europa League in the new year.
"It was a fantastic hat-trick," Ferguson said after the game."You know how good he is in that penalty box.
"He's on the shoulder, he makes runs across defenders and his timing with his runs is fantastic. I'm really pleased for him."
Because of a wealth of injury problems, United started with Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra in defence, but Ferguson was pleased with the way they coped with the German side's dangerous strikeforce.
He added:"It was an experimental system, but the good thing is there was enough quality there. You have to trust that the players are good at their job. They are, and they've proved it again tonight.
"I thought our control in the first half was very good. It was the same in the second half but our threat towards the end and our speed in the counter-attack was very pleasing.
"The players have applied themselves and that's important in a game like this. Darren Fletcher, for example, plays all over the place. If you've got players like that who can adapt into a different system then it's never a big problem."