Thu. Oct 1st, 2020

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How Sir Alex Ferguson proved Rio Ferdinand wrong at Manchester United

2 min read

Rio Ferdinand has outlined how impressed he was by Sir Alex Ferguson’s use of youngsters in big matches.

Ferguson was no stranger to an out-of-the blue team selection during his tenure as Manchester United manager, often throwing young players in at the deep end.

One of those occasions saw Darron Gibson start for United in a must-win game against Bayern Munich in the 2009/10 Champions League quarter-finals.

Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand revealed that selections like that would often raise eyebrows among the squad.

Yet, when they paid off, the former Reds defender said it showed the thought that Ferguson would put into his teams.

“Sometimes he would pick a team and you’d see a young lad come in,” he said. “Darron Gibson came in once and he wasn’t a regular starter – and no disrespect to Darron Gibson – but we were playing Bayern Munich at home, we needed to score goals.

“How is he playing him? Within two minutes, Darron Gibson goes and scores the first goal. You’re looking at the bench, thinking, ‘this geezer is a genius’.”

After Gibson’s early strike, Nani added a second five minutes later to stun the Bundesliga side.

Nani would later make it 3-0 but goals from Ivica Olic and Arjen Robben ensured the tie ended 4-4 on aggregate and sent Bayern through on away goals after United had lost the first leg 2-1 in Bavaria.

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