herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Deschamps on Red alert for United complacency

Didier Deschamps will use a lesson from his past involving David Beckham to ensure Marseille exploit any weakness in Manchester United's Champions League armoury.

United head to the Stade Velodrome tonight as overwhelming favourites to reach the last eight despite being shorn of seven senior players for the first leg clash.

Yet, even from the least promising positions, shocks can occur, as Deschamps experienced himself in 2004 when his Monaco outfit hauled themselves back from a 4-2 first leg deficit to beat Real Madrid on their way to a final defeat by Porto.

"In that first match, David Beckham deliberately got a yellow card so he would be available for the next round if Madrid got through," claimed Deschamps.

"But during the second game, my players said that physically, Madrid were not there at all.

"We still needed a great performance -- and we delivered.

"This match is different because the second leg is at Old Trafford, where the crowd always puts you under pressure but it does give us something to think about."

Gabriel Heinze has done his bit to take the sting out of the occasion by expressing regret for the manner he left United in 2007.

A fans' favourite during his three years at the club, Heinze departed in bitter acrimony, after trying to force through a move to Liverpool, which United refused to sanction.



Intervention

The matter was ultimately resolved in the club's favour following the Premier League's intervention, although the saga soured Heinze's relationship with the United supporters.

"I don't really want to talk about what happened four years ago," he said. "Maybe some day I will tell the whole story. But I knew the risks and was aware of what being at a club like Liverpool would mean.

"I regret it a lot, especially the last three months."

Heinze has met Ferguson just once since, a brief encounter in Qatar when Argentina met Brazil in a friendly last November. And it is clear who the United boss holds responsible.

"I have no issues at all with Gabriel Heinze," he said.

"It was not down to him. It was a bad agent that engineered the situation. He tried to trick (chief executive) David Gill.

"Gabriel was a fantastic player for us. In his three years, he did very well."

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