Manchester United vs. Sporting Braga  3 - 2

Article

Buttner delighted with Euro debut

24 October 2012 04:36

Manchester United full-back Alexander Buttner was delighted with his Champions League debut against Sporting Braga on Tuesday.

The off-season signing from Vitesse was handed a starting place by Sir Alex Ferguson as the United overcame a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at Old Trafford.

And, despite giving a mixed performance, the defender was pleased to have made the step up to Europe's premier cup competition.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Buttner said: "(Champions League) is a higher level. It's my first game, I want to play high-level football."

Buttner has been touted as a potential threat to Patrice Evra's starting position at the club since arriving from the Netherlands, but the 23-year-old insists he has nothing but respect for his team-mate.

"Patrice is also good," he said.

"If he plays, it's OK. I look to him and how he plays, and I learn from that.

"On the training ground, we speak a lot. We are in the same position, we are left-backs."

Article

Ferdinand rested for Braga visit

22 October 2012 16:40

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the T-shirt row with Rio Ferdinand has been resolved.

The 33-year-old came under fire from his manager over the weekend for choosing not to wear a T-shirt supporting the 'Kick It Out' campaign without notifying his boss.

"The issue's simple," Ferguson said on Monday.

"I've spoken to Rio. It was a communication issue. He felt I should have spoken to him on Friday and I didn't anticipate that he'd have a problem wearing the shirt.

"My advice is to him that I always feel a union is stronger than an individual. It's important he airs his grievances to the right people, the FA.

"It's been a communication issue more than anything else. We've resolved the situation, there's no lingering problems and we move on. That's the end of the matter."

Ferdinand will play no part in United's Champions League clash against Braga on Tuesday but Ferguson insisted the reason for leaving the defender out of the squad is purely for tactical purposes.

"I'm not playing Rio. I'm making a few changes. I'm leaving out Rio and Patrice Evra. We have a big game against Chelsea (to think about on Sunday)," he said.

"We've got Ashley Young back and he'll be involved tomorrow. We've got Nani, (Antonio) Valencia, (Ryan) Giggs … plenty of wide players. I have an issue in terms of picking the team. Hopefully I get it right."

"Shinji Kagawa didn't play on Saturday so he can prepare for tomorrow. Also, Stoke's a different team to any other side he's played. But mainly it was to give him a rest before tomorrow."

United are looking to maintain their perfect record in the tournament so far after victories against Galatasaray and Cluj.

Braga head coach Jose Peseiro believes United are all but guaranteed top spot in the group, leaving his side battling with Galatasaray and Cluj for second spot.

"The best team in our group is Manchester United," he said.

"We are in the fight for second place and we can do it. At this moment we are in second place and our team are capable.

"The next two games against Manchester are important because if we lose here and lose at home it is difficult for us, but I believe in my team."

Article

Champions League Group H preview: Braga go to Old Trafford

22 October 2012 09:12

Manchester United play host to Sporting Braga, while CFR Cluj take on Galatasaray in Group H of the Champions League on Tuesday.

While Braga are undefeated in their past five matches against English opposition, United are hot favourites to continue their perfect start to the competition at Old Trafford.

United, who failed to reach the knockout phase last season, head into the contest on top of the group with wins against Galatasaray and Cluj.

Ashley Young is expected to return for United following a knee injury, while Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Darren Fletcher could also feature after being rested in the Premier League at the weekend.

United recovered from a goal down to defeat Stoke City on Saturday and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has put the onus on his defenders to be more reliable in the early stages.

"We keep starting badly in games, in the first 20 minutes," he told MUTV.

"There's no doubt our attacking play has been the strongest part of our game. But we're letting in goals at home and that's disappointing."

Braga, who rebounded from an opening loss to Cluj with a deserved win over Galatasaray, travel to Manchester unbeaten in their past five outings in all competitions.

In Istanbul, Galatasaray hope to keep their chances of progressing beyond the group stage alive with their first points of the tournament.

Fatih Terim's men are rooted to the bottom of the group with two losses from their opening two games and could be all but eliminated with a third defeat.

Cluj head to Turkey on the back of two straight losses in the Romanian top flight but remain second in their European group with three points and a superior goal difference.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
5 6 +2 10
6 6 -3 10
7 6 +2 8
8 6 +1 8
9 6 +0 8

Primeira Liga table

# Team MP D P
2 6 +6 12
3 6 +5 12
4 6 +6 11
5 6 +4 11
6 6 +6 10