English Premiership

Fergie relishes flying start

2011-09-19 12:29
Alex Ferguson (File)

Manchester - Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United's flying start to the season is all the more impressive considering the severity of their fixture list.

United are two points clear at the top of the Premier League after starting the season with five straight victories, which is their best opening to a campaign under Ferguson and the most impressive by the Red Devils since Ron Atkinson era in 1985.

They have scored 21 goals on the way to beating West Brom, Tottenham, Arsenal, Bolton and Chelsea, who they defeated 3-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The champions' next Premier League game is at Stoke next weekend and Ferguson feels the toughness of his team's start makes their points tally even more of an achievement.

"We've had tough teams at Old Trafford, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea, and we thought the fixture list had given us a real test," Ferguson said.

"We're getting the tough ones early on but you've got to have them sometime.

"We're enjoying our football, playing with great enthusiasm and threat and we could have scored six or seven (against Chelsea). That threat is encouraging us all."

Defender Chris Smalling is doubtful for the League Cup trip to Leeds on Tuesday after limping off against Chelsea with a groin problem.

Mexican striker Javier Hernandez also sustained an injury in a challenge with Ashley Cole and Ferguson was angry at the conduct of the Chelsea defender.

He said: "The referee booked him but he hasn't given a penalty kick. I don't understand that.

"He's very reckless at times, Ashley Cole. He's committed and at times being committed, you can go over the edge a bit and that was an example of that. It was a shocking challenge."

Smalling gave United a perfect start when he headed in Ashley Young's free kick before Nani doubled the lead with a long-range shot.

Wayne Rooney touched in his ninth goal in five Premier League appearances but after Fernando Torres scored just his second goal since joining Chelsea for 50 million in January, Rooney missed from the penalty spot.

Chelsea are now five points off the leaders but Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas feels his team have already shown they will challenge all the way for the title.

"United are in a good position now but it's very, very early. I said before the game that nothing that happened here would mean anything in the Premier League table," he said.

"Man City went to Fulham and Fulham needed the result and they got a point. City have the most amazing talent in the world, like we do and like United does.

"Arsenal lost this weekend and Liverpool lost so all of the five contenders are there and anything can happen.

"United are the most consistent but we've shown we are up to the level of the champion.

"This didn't go our way but we will be up there competing for the title and Sir Alex corroborates this opinion.

"We have always considered ourselves title contenders and need to concentrate straight away to get three points at Swansea because this is a natural reaction to a defeat.

"It's important we continue to believe in our work because our good work was shown but we just couldn't find the back of the net."

Even though Torres scored his first goal of the season, the Spaniard attracted some criticism for his late miss, failing to hit the target after running around the challenge of David de Gea.

But Villas-Boas added: "The best world strikers missed crazy opportunities, it happened to Fernando and it happened to Rooney so it's nothing dramatic and normally these balls go in."

Read more on:    epl  |  alex ferguson  |  andre villas boas
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Maritzburg floor Ajax

2014-04-18 20:41

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
17 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.