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Ferguson hails subs Tevez and Nani
February 21, 2008 11:45 IST
Goalscorer Carlos Tevez and fellow substitute Nani both played a crucial role in Manchester United's 1-1 Champions League draw at Olympique Lyon, manager Alex Ferguson said after Wednesday's match.
United were 1-0 down when Ferguson sent Tevez and Nani on for Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs on 65 minutes.
The move paid off with the two giving the visitors an extra lease of life before both being involved in the late equaliser, Tevez scoring from close range three minutes from time after a cross by Nani took a deflection off Lyon striker Fred.
"Tevez and Nani improved our chances," Ferguson told a news conference. "Both did very well."
Lyon had taken the lead on 54 minutes courtesy of a superb goal from Karim Benzema and looked poised for an upset before Tevez gave the visitors an away goal to take into the return leg at Old Trafford.
"At that moment in the game (when Lyon scored), we were pretty much in control," Ferguson said. "That fantastic goal gave them the energy to put us in a difficult situation.
"It was a good performance away from home, it's a good draw which gives us a good opportunity to qualify," he added.
Lyon, who had worried their fans with dull displays over the last few weeks, put up a spirited performance but still face a daunting task.
"As the score stands, we're eliminated, so this is not a good result," said Lyon coach Alain Perrin.
"It's a pity because it was an interesting performance from the team. It's just sad we couldn't hold on to our lead and conceded that somewhat bizarre goal at the worst possible moment."
Ferguson said Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo [Images], who showed glimpses of his class but could not make a difference, had been targeted by a laser, the light of which showed on his face during the warm-up.
"We reported it to UEFA," he said, adding he had not been informed of any repeat of the incident during the match.
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage