Sir Alex was full of praise for his two front men after the Reds secured victory over Olympique Marseille to book a spot in the last eight of the Champions League.
Wayne Rooney pulled the strings for the Reds, while Javier Hernandez was on hand to poke the ball home in each half.
Chicharito made it 16 goals for the season and Sir Alex admits the Mexican has surpassed everyone’s expectactions at the club.
“We thought he was a young lad who was going to progress and maybe have to get used to our training and English football, but he’s been an absolute star and a real bonus for us,” the boss told MUTV. “His movement is fantastic, he’s always on the move, and his timing of runs is terrific. He’s always on the last defender.
“They’re a good combination. Their partnership has been developing really well. Where Wayne has played in the last couple of games has really threatened teams. He’s got such power and speed with ball.”
A late own goal from Wes Brown ensured there were some nervy moments towards the end of the tie, while injuries to both John O’Shea and Rafael made United’s task all the more difficult.
“If you’re an opposing team and you see that [injuries] happening during a game you’d be encouraged,” said Sir Alex. “That was a big problem for us because they kept playing balls into the penalty area. At the same time though they didn’t really have any clear chances and I think we can be proud of that fact.”
Rooney relishes Euro draw
Wayne Rooney will take whatever Friday’s Champions League draw throws at United – Barcelona included – after helping the Reds to reach the quarter-finals.
The number ten was an inspirational performer against Marseille, although grit was every bit as important in United’s victory as the grace of his link-up play as the Reds grimly held on to a slender 2-1 lead.
“We’re delighted to be through to the quarter-finals,” said Rooney. “It was a difficult game. We knew from the first leg that Marseille are a big, physical team. They got out wide and put some good balls into the box and made it difficult for us. We were unfortunate to concede the own goal but we managed to hold on at the end and get the win. I think we deserved it.”
When asked if he wanted to avoid Barcelona in the last eight, Wayne replied: “No, if you’re going to win this tournament, you’ve got to be prepared to play anyone and beat them. Whoever we get, we’ll be confident we can win.”
If goals breed confidence, then Javier Hernandez should have it in abundance after claiming the two strikes that steered United past Marseille. The all-important opener was set up by Rooney, who was later full of praise for his young Mexican strike partner.
“Our game plan was to attack them first half and try and get about them, and try and get a goal up. We managed to do that. Chicharito has got great movement and thankfully he’s a great finisher so that obviously helps the team.”