Date: 8th December 2005 at 2:19pm
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Benfica coach Ronald Koeman insisted his team had thoroughly deserved their success, and even though United had started the group as favourites, the Dutchman claimed they had done nothing to justify that tag.

He would not get wrapped up in sentiment and wanted nothing to do with the emotion of the past and links with George Best and those two fabulous games in the 1960s.

He replied: ‘George Best and Eusebio belong in the past. I don’t want a history lesson. This is 2005.

‘At the start of the competition United were the big favourites but they did not show they were the best team.

‘You could not say they were unlucky – we lost against United in Manchester and I thought we were unlucky that night.

‘I think they used the long ball too much in the second half but we defended brilliantly.

‘It’s just a pity we didn’t score a third because we had the chances.’