Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Mexican ace Javier Hernandez as ‘unbelievable’ following Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Marseille on Tuesday.
Hernandez produced a goal in either half at Old Trafford, ensuring United dumped the French champions out of the Champions League 2-1 on aggregate and advanced to the quarter-finals.
The 22-year-old, who received a dream ticket to the Premier League from Mexican outfit Guadalajara last year, linked up with Wayne Rooney in the first instance, and Ferguson praised the growing awareness between the strike pair.
“It has developed very well,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.
“Where Wayne has been playing in the last couple of games, he is a real threat to teams because he has got such power and speed with the ball.”
“And, of course, Hernandez is unbelievable, his movement. Did you see his movement for the (opening) goal?”
“He has made three different types of run – in, out, in, out – and the boy has just got goals in him.”
Marseille’s only score of the match came from an own goal by United defender Wes Brown, but the visitors never looked out of the tie.
Ferguson admitted his men had been ‘nervy’ against the French side, blaming their at-times flustered display on hamstring injuries to John O’Shea and Rafael.
“It was nervy because we kept having players taken off with injuries and it shook the balance of the team in a big way,” Ferguson said.
“I thought we were quite comfortable, and then O’Shea is off, and then Da Silva (Rafael) is off.”
“We had made a substitution, which was a killer because we could have brought (Darron) Gibson on to give us a bit more height.”
“The problem tonight was always going to be height. Marseille’s set-piece play, of course, was very good and it caused us a lot of problems.”
Marseille boss Didier Deschamps was critical of his side’s poor finishing at Old Trafford, with Andre-Pierre Gignac and Souleymane Diawara missing the best of a clutch of chances.
Asked if he felt Marseille would have qualified for the last eight had they made more of their opportunities, Deschamps told Sky Sports: “I am sure.”
“I have got young players and it was difficult at Old Trafford but after that my players did well and we had opportunities, good occasions, but we didn’t score and then to be 2-0 down it was more complicated for us.”
“I think the players, and me as well, felt it was possible because Manchester United were not really fit physically.”