Date: 21st October 2009 at 10:59pm
Written by:

United have been, by and large, struggling away from home in the Champions League throughout the Fergie era. Except the last two years: since the 3-0 defeat at the San Siro in 2007 we haven’t lost on the road in Europe’s premier competition, thus equalling Ajax’s record of going 14 away games unbeaten.

“I think we should be proud of it,” Sir Alex said after tonight’s 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow.

“It`s not easy away from home in Europe. We`ve been to some fantastic places over the years.

“We showed maturity. There is a way of playing away in Europe, you saw it tonight.”


It’s certainly true that we seem to have learnt how to produce those ‘textbook’ away performances which brought so much success for Italian sides over the years. Last season’s win at Porto or the 2-0 defeat of Roma in 2008 were perfect examples: United kept their shape, played in a very disciplined way and took their chances. Just like at Besiktas and at CSKA this season.

It took Fergie a long time to master this but finally we do not have to be afraid ahead of a European away trip. We rarely produce flowing football on these trips – last season’s brilliant display at the Emirates was the exception rather than the rule – but seem to possess an uncanny ability of grinding out results in dire games.

I must admit though that I was unaware of this record: as the usual quality of our football away from home in the Champions League is pretty… average, to say the least, I did not realise we became so hard to beat on the road. It feels strange, after so many years.