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Ferguson refuses to criticise Man Utd players over manner of goals conceded

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says Phil Jones was helpless to prevent his own goal in last night's 2-2 draw with Benfica.

Benfica's second goal came when United goalkeeper David de Gea's poor clearance fell to Bruno Cesar, whose cross bounced off Rio Ferdinand and was converted from close range by Aimar.

Ferguson refused to criticise De Gea - or Jones for diverting in the opener - and was keen to praise Berbatov, who scored his first Champions League goal in three years but also missed a good late chance to make it 3-2 when he volleyed over the bar.

"The first goal was unfortunate - you don't expect that," Ferguson said.

"The ball is fired in through a ruck of players and unfortunately for young Phil it has cannoned off him. It is just one of the things that happen in football.

"With the second one, obviously David should have just put it in the terracing, but he is confident on the ball and he expresses himself always that way. I'm not blaming him in any way.

"Berbatov could have scored a hat-trick. He missed that opportunity near the end which was a bit unlucky - he could have maybe taken it down - but nonetheless, he played very well.

"We always know there is a goal in Dimitar, you always know he has the ability to turn the game and that is why we played him tonight. He is always in my thoughts."

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