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Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Manchester United paid the price against Porto for the 'gamble' he took by opting to play just 48 hours prior to the UEFA Champions League tie.

United boss Ferguson had the option of taking on Aston Villa in the Premier League last Saturday but he chose to arrange the televised encounter for the Sunday, with a demanding international break in mind.

The Red Devils triumphed over Villa but struggled on Tuesday night when they took on Porto at Old Trafford in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
Gamble

The fixture ended in a 2-2 draw and Ferguson has conceded the result means the European champions have a "difficult" task ahead at Estadio do Dragao.

He said in The Sun: "We showed tiredness because of the gamble I took playing Sunday which was not the best preparation.

"But we faced a situation and we took the best option hoping a European occasion would bring the adrenalin up."

Ferguson added in The Guardian: "I was tempted to get Villa moved to the Saturday.

Fragile

"However, we had so many players on international duty in places like Bolivia, Rio de Janeiro and Korea, involving some very long and tiring journeys, I thought it best to go with Sunday."

Ferguson also rued his team's defending on the night, with his depleted back four suspect on both goals.

The Scot added: "It shows the fragile nature of our defence at the moment."

Sky Sports | Football | Champions League | News | Ferguson shoulders blame
 

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Actually after reading this i feel a bit guilty..well for a start it didnt come across to me how 8 of our players were just playing a day before. To think again, looking at the circumstances we are in, im just glad we are still in the tie. We could have easily lost the game. Atlest now we still have the second leg to make amends and hopefully we can.
 

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Well everyone thought it was a strange move before a massive game apart from alex who was obviously confident
 

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It was a difficult decision tbf. I think if we had played it on Saturday, also considering the only available time was lunch-time, we would have been better off for the Porto game but we would have dropped points against Villa.
 

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To be fair to Fergie, we actually did come out to play only in the second half after probably realising what a situation we had put ourselves in. Or was it some hairdryer treatment during the break?

Suddenly we were playing like demon possessed, pressing hard and played at a frantic pace, something missing for many games this season. Makes me wonder why we don't do it more often than not.

But alas, it was not good enough due to poor final passes and touches, and really slipshod defending at the back which culminated in sloppy goals we conceded.
 

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Premier League > Champs League....Fergie played the right move for me,Porto were ALOT stronger than people made out but the 3 points at Villa were too big to jepordise for this tie.
 

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Premier League > Champs League....Fergie played the right move for me,Porto were ALOT stronger than people made out but the 3 points at Villa were too big to jepordise for this tie.
Agree with that. 2-2 is not a bad result by any stretch of the imagination. Regardless of the result at OT, Utd would always go to the Dragao and look to win the game. The 2-2 hasn't changed that mentality much, it probably has made United even more determined.
 

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It was a difficult decision tbf. I think if we had played it on Saturday, also considering the only available time was lunch-time, we would have been better off for the Porto game but we would have dropped points against Villa.
That's a good point, if we had to play Villa on Saturday, it would have been a 12:45 game..
Going on our recent 12:45 kick-off games, we probably would have dropped points against Villa though..

If it was on Saturday, the team would have been in better shape last night, but in all fairness professional footballers are athletes and should be able to play 2 home games in 3 days..
 

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That's a good point, if we had to play Villa on Saturday, it would have been a 12:45 game..
Going on our recent 12:45 kick-off games, we probably would have dropped points against Villa though..

If it was on Saturday, the team would have been in better shape last night, but in all fairness professional footballers are athletes and should be able to play 2 home games in 3 days..
The most important thing about the 12:45 was because of the international break, and Tevez and Park would have had less than 24 hours to prepare seeing as they only got back after 4pm on the Friday.

But yeah, footballers should be able to play 2 home games in 3 days.
 

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I think thats very brave and noble of Ferguson to take the blame but in my eyes he is not to fault. Without that extra day's rest maybe we couldn't have fought into injury time against Villa. And the amateurish mistakes we were making against Porto should not have been there, tired or not.
 
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