Sir Alex Ferguson hails David de Gea after Champions League draw against Real Madrid

The Real Hero! Fergie hails saviour De Gea as Welbeck gives United edge

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

02:21 GMT, 14 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:23 GMT, 14 February 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed David de Gea's Champions League heroics in the Bernabeu.

The under-fire Spanish goalkeeper was outstanding as Manchester United, who took the lead through Danny Welbeck, escaped with a draw after Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning equaliser.

Ferguson said: ‘De Gea has been improving all season and he even got a touch on the shot from Coentrao in the first half when he put it on to the post.

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

'He was excellent and made three or
four top saves. He was coming back to Madrid after his career with
Atletico, so to perform like that against Real …’

Real had 28 attempts on De Gea’s goal
in the first leg of this last-16 tie but they were unable to convert
their chances on a frustrating night for Jose Mourinho’s team.

Ferguson added: ‘The tie is 50-50 and
I would say whoever scores first in three weeks’ time will have a good
chance of going through. We made chances and hopefully we won’t regret
missing them.

‘Real are a fantastic
counter-attacking team, but we will be more positive in terms of
selection. We have goals in our team, don’t forget that.’

Re-United: Sir Alex Ferguson embraces his former protegee at the final whistle

Re-United: Sir Alex Ferguson embraces his former protegee at the final whistle

United took the lead when Welbeck scored only his second goal of the season before Ronaldo hit back with a stunning header.

Ferguson added: ‘It reminded me of
his goal against Roma in the quarter-final in 2009 because that also had
unbelievable spring and power.

‘No player can do that – not even
Messi. Cristiano’s a special talent and it’s nice that he came into the
dressing-room after the game to see his old team-mates.’

Ronaldo, who has scored seven times
in the Champions League this season, added: ‘I did not want to celebrate
the goal out of respect, as I played there for six years. I grew up
there. They welcomed me when I was a child and it’s very special to play
against them.’

On target: Danny Welbeck gives United something take back to Old Trafford

On target: Danny Welbeck gives United something take back to Old Trafford

He will see them again on March 5 when United host Real in the second leg at Old Trafford.

Mourinho, who hugged United legend
Paddy Crerand at the end of the post-match press conference, said: ‘They
came here to defend and not to concede goals or space. They didn’t play
to win.

'We have players of great potential
and we can score goals. I don’t feel pressure. At Old Trafford we have
the perfect conditions to win.’

VIDEO He was excellent, some top saves. Fergie hails De Gea

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv37084','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv37084”,
'videoPlayer' : “2163760552001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2278420/Sir-Alex-Ferguson-hails-David-Gea-Champions-League-draw-Real-Madrid.html”

});