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Fergie claims United could have hit seven

Alex Ferguson has claimed Manchester United would not have been flattered if they had scored "six or seven" in their Carling Cup semi-final thriller with Manchester City last night.

While Roberto Mancini felt the Blues were largely comfortable, Ferguson saw a different game, one where the Red Devils were in total control.

"We missed a lot of chances," the United manager said.

"Edwin van der Sar made one marvellous save (from a Micah Richards' shot) after half-time, but we produced a marvellous performance in the second-half.

"We could have scored six or seven. It was much better than Saturday," Ferguson said of star striker Wayne Rooney, who played up front on his own. "I know he scored four goals (against Hull last week), but tonight his control leading the line, and his link up play, was fantastic. It was a wonderful performance. World class."

Of more immediate interest to Ferguson will be the disciplinary hearing that Rio Ferdinand must face tomorrow after the Londoner denied a charge of violent conduct for swinging an arm into the face of Hull's Craig Fagan last weekend.

Yet Ferguson insists his the defender has a worthwhile case: "If he gets a fair hearing, Rio has a good chance. He was getting wrestled and punched. He was trying to get himself free of it and, unfortunately, caught the lad on the back of the neck."