Whilst Manchester United go in to the second leg of the Champions League with the advantage, our position could have been much better if not for the brilliant work of Manuel Almunia. He made several brilliant saves in the match, most notably those from Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, which kept Arsenal in the tie.
He has today expressed his disappointment with the way his team played, suggesting that the pressure of the occasion got to the team.
“I was disappointed with the performance,” Almunia said. “After the first 25 minutes we switched off and didn’t keep the ball as well as we should and know how to do. We were disappointed in the dressing-room. It was a lost game, nobody likes to lose, but after a few minutes you realise that Old Trafford is a very difficult place to win and keep a clean sheet. We were surprised at how they played, but some of our players were maybe lost at the beginning. That’s normal, it’s a big competition, it’s a big semi-final and you expect a lot of pressure on the players. I don’t know how every player felt inside, but it’s a big pressure on everybody. I still think we should have the experience to face these sort of games. Everybody was looking forward to this game for such a long time and you put everything into the game on the pitch and sometimes your head doesn’t respond enough to your desire. I hope on Tuesday that everybody is focused on what we have to do, otherwise we will be lost.”