Ferguson: Derby clash a 'fantastic prospect'
Sir Alex Ferguson cannot wait for Sunday's Barclays Premier League derby showdown with leaders Manchester City.
Ferguson's Manchester United side were not too convincing against Romanian title winners Otelul Galati in Bucharest last night, yet even without skipper Nemanja Vidic -sent off in the second half - United emerged victorious thanks to two Wayne Rooney penalties.
The result moved United into second spot behind Benfica in Group C, with all eyes immediately turning to Sunday's league showdown with their city rivals at Old Trafford.
"The last couple of years they [the derbies] have become more intense and there is more importance attached to them," Ferguson told Sky Sports.
"On Sunday it's top of the league and second-top, and it really builds up into a fantastic prospect for everyone. I am looking forward to that."
Vidic will spend the build-up worrying whether UEFA will increase the obligatory one-match ban for his tackle on Gabriel Giurgiu. There did not seem any malice about the challenge and the Serbian was stunned at the red card shown by German referee Felix Byrch.
The official obviously felt there was an element of danger about the tackle, and Ferguson could understand why.
"I've looked at it and his foot is certainly high," said Ferguson.
"I can understand the referee's interpretation of the incident.
"Maybe it's a bit different in Germany, but I thought it was a little harsh. It was certainly a booking."
Rooney kept his nerve to prevent United paying the ultimate price, in the process becoming the highest English scorer in the Champions League with 26.
United were unconvincing at times, though, giving away possession far too easily, particularly in the first half, although Ferguson claims he was never concerned.
"I don't think we were lucky," he said. "We were the better team.
"We dominated possession and improved in the second half, particularly through Nani, Anderson and Rooney.
"Those three players changed the game."
But there was only frustration for Otelul coach Dorinel Munteanu, whose side are still to pick up their first point despite a plucky performance.
"It is a totally undeserved defeat," he said.
"We played well and had the necessary aggression, but we were playing against Manchester United.
"My players did very well and I cannot fault them. But I am still upset.
"I felt we could win even if it seemed before the match that we were heavy underdogs. There wasn't that much difference between the sides."