Sir Alex Ferguson confident Manchester United will qualify

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes his side will qualify for the Champions League knockout stages despite drawing with Benfica.

United need a point against Basel in their last Group C game to reach the next round after the 2-2 result  .

But hopes of topping the group look slim as they must better Benfica's result against pointless Otelul Galati.

"It will be a hard game in Basel. But when the chips are down I have every confidence in the team," said Ferguson.

"Benfica should win at home against Galati but we need to win in style."

GROUP C

Played Points

Benfica

5

9

Man Utd

5

9

Basel

5

8

Otelul Galati

5

0

Finishing second in the group would mean United could face the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan or Bayern Munich as early as the last 16, but Ferguson was bullish about the prospect.

"It makes it a bit harder of course, but maybe the bigger game will suit us anyway," he said, and added that he felt his side were now playing for second spot.

"Hopefully we are in that situation, in second place - because I don't think Benfica will lose to Galati. I'm sure they will win that match.

"Then the opportunities are against [a team like] Inter, Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

"You have to judge that in this way - if you played them in the semi-final or the final, you would be only be too delighted, knowing the possibility there is to win."

Ferguson's men fell behind to the Portuguese side, who have secured their passage to the next round, when Phil Jones deflected into his own net.

GROUP C PERMUTATIONS

  • Man Utd will qualify if they get a point at Basel
  • They can top the group if they better Benfica's result against Otelul Galati
  • If Benfica win against the Romanian side they top the group (regardless of Man Utd's result)
  • Basel can still qualify if they beat Man Utd

But they went ahead through goals by Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher, before gifting the visitors an equaliser a minute after taking the lead.

Goalkeeper David de Gea's poor clearance went straight to Benfica's Bruno Cesar and Pablo Aimar tucked in his cross.

"The goals were a bit freakish - an own goal and the bad kick out by David," Ferguson added.

"The pass back could have been better but David should have played it into the stands and we didn't hold on to the lead.

"We played well tonight, and the team deserved better. It's a cruel game at times."