Ferguson celebrates century of wins
Alex Ferguson's 100th Champions League victory was hardly a classic as Manchester United beat Galatasaray 1-0 at Old Trafford - in fact it was more memorable for Portuguese winger Nani surprising his veteran manager by appointing himself penalty taker.
For the third consecutive match, United missed a penalty, Nani halting in his run-up to try to wrong-foot goalkeeper Fernando Muslera before seeing his attempt easily saved.
After Robin van Persie's miss against Southampton and Javier Hernandez's failure from the penalty spot against Wigan in last weekend 4-0 victory, it was an embarrassing and potentially costly error by Nani.
United only led 1-0 at the time of his miss early in the second half and their Turkish opponents not only twice hit the woodwork but also had two strong penalty claims of their own turned down.
"To be honest with you I have no idea," said Ferguson, when asked why Nani had taken the kick.
"I think Nani just ran and grabbed the ball.
"I thought Robin [van Persie] should have taken it to be honest with you. I think we will have to decide before the game, which is my fault, I should have done that."
Michael Carrick's early goal was enough to earn United a winning start to their Champions League group campaign, which leaves Ferguson as the first manager to win a century of games in the competition.
And the England midfielder, who scored his first European goal in three years, attempted to make light of the surprising record of penalty misses.
"The manager will probably have something to say but each time we've missed one we've won the game," he said. "So hopefully next time we get one we'll put it away."
More importantly, after the humiliation of last season when United failed to reach the knock-out stages of the tournament, the win also hands the English club a solid platform upon which to advance in this year's competition.
One undoubted bright point for Ferguson was the return of Darren Fletcher, the Scotland international midfielder sidelined since November 2011 with a bowel disorder that had threatened to end his career.