MANCHESTER, March 12 – Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Manchester United had flirted with Champions League suicide in their 2-0 win over Inter Milan here on Wednesday.
Despite watching his side advance to the last eight at the expense of the Italian league leaders, Ferguson was left fuming over what he described as the "reckless" way in which his players relinquished control of the match after taking a fourth-minute lead through Nemanja Vidic.
"It was one of those long European nights where you don’t know if you’re watching a game of football or watching a game of suicide," Ferguson said.
"After scoring the first goal, I thought we would go on and kill them. But after going ahead we started trying to put icing on the cake and we were lucky to be in front at half-time."
Ferguson added: "I thought we could score a few goals but then we started doing flicks and back heels, hitting balls into space where noone was.
"It was really reckless football and it allowed Inter Milan to get a grip of the game. From the middle of hte first half to the end of the first half they were the better team."
Despite his frustration, Ferguson took heart from the fact that his side had come through a tough tie.
"We changed the system at half-time, closed the door on (Esteban) Cambiasso and we were a bit better in the second half," the Scot added.
"We played a team at its maximum, potential-wise with all the experience they have. And they played to their maximum.
"To get through that tonight was a big plus for us, because we will be better in the next round. We can play better than that but I am happy to get through it."