Date: 27th September 2009 at 2:00am
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Tony Pulis was graceful in defeat: he opted to heap praise on our golden oldies who simply had too much class for his side. The Stoke manager admitted they just could not live with Manchester United even on their own intimidating ground.

‘The best team won. For us to compete against a team like Manchester United we need everybody to be at their maximum. Instead I felt we were flat right from the start.’

About Scholes and Giggs: ‘They are both great players but Scholes was magnificent. He was the best player on the pitch by a country mile. Then Giggs makes the two goals. You can only respect and admire them. They are absolutely fantastic players.’

Indeed they are but Fergie still felt th need to explain away why he brought on Ryan Giggs for Nani – even though it was a fairly obvious substitution, considering how ineffective Nani was.

‘Ryan is important. He made the goals. I felt his intelligence would give them a bit of bother on that side of the pitch. Nani did pretty well but Ryan gives you something else. He has the intelligence to take up good positions. For the first goal he went on a lovely run behind their defence and the second was an excellent free-kick.’

I can’t help but feel that the ‘Nani did pretty well’ line was nothing more than an attempt to protect our young and not too bright Portuguese from the criticism he’s bound to receive – it is high time he starts justifying Fergie’s faith because his a*se won’t be saved by Ryan Giggs every single time.