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Highlights & Post-Match Quotes | Manchester United 1-2 Ajax (3-2 agg.) -- Europa League



Sir Alex Ferguson | MUFC manager (courtesy of MUTV)

(On United's shaky performance...) "It was very nervy at the end of the game. We didn’t play well in the second half and they were by far the better team. I accept responsibility myself because I picked a team with too many youngsters in the back four positions. They all have great potential but on European nights you need experience in the back positions and it just made it a nervy night for us. You play Ajax and know that they can keep the ball all night. The problem is that they don’t really have a great deal of penetration. But they’re all good young footballers, they are a growing team. They are much like ourselves, which is why I thought playing young players would help us as it would give them experience. Of course, I had to play some who needed a game badly. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley have all been out for a long time so it was important to get them a game."

(On de Gea's tremendous reflex save...) "De Gea made a tremendous save. You think about the size of our team and they got two headers from corner kicks, which you don't expect."

(On rotating his squad and on United's opponent in the next round -- Athletic Bilbao...) "In fairness, we have been changing the team around a bit. When we play Athletic, I think you’ll find it will be a far more experienced team. Their home record is very good and we expect a very difficult game. That will be more of a challenge for us in the sense that getting the result in Ajax put us in a comfort zone, whereas we’ll have to get the edge here before going to Bilbao."

Chris Smalling | MUFC defender (courtesy of MUTV)

(Overall thoughts on the match and on the two-legged tie...) "We’re through to the next round. That's what we can take from it, but it was a very disappointing game. When we came off the pitch we felt like we'd lost the tie. But at the end of the day we've made it through and we now have to make up for it in the next round."

(On Athletic Bilbao...) "I've not seen too much of [Athletic Bilbao} but La Liga's a strong league. It's going to be another tricky tie."

(On the upcoming weekend clash at Carrow Road....) "We'll have to look at the video [from tonight] and hopefully we'll play better at the weekend [against Norwich]."

(On United's positive start and more on United's poor overall performance...) "We had a great start and had one or two spells throughout the game. But we dropped off and let them play and they started to dictate, especially in the second half. We knew Ajax were always in it. There were only two goals in it at the start of the game. We just didn't click into gear and were unfortunate."

Frank De Boer | Ajax manager

(Overall thoughts on the match...) "I had a feeling there was more to gain. There was a possibility for us to get a very good result. Even at 3-0 I thought if we did what we were capable of, we could threaten them. I was very angry at half-time and whilst we did better in the second half, we could have caused them much more damage.

(On United's chances in the Europa League...) "Of course, Manchester United have the possibility to win it now. There are some good teams in it but they are one of the favourites."