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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will rest some of his star players for the final Champions League group game against Fenerbache on December 8.

With qualification to the last 16 assured after Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Lyon, which took them into pole position, the Old Trafford boss will now focus on trying to pick up vital Barclays Premiership points either side of the game in Turkey.

United entertain Southampton at home on December 4 and Fulham away on December 13.

Lyon dropped down to second spot following this defeat but have also qualified.

Speaking about the final group placings, Ferguson said: "Being first or second doesn't really matter on some occasions. It is a difficult one to decide on.

"I will certainly make changes in the last game and put out a few players who need to be playing."

More immediately, Ferguson has selection problems for the game at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (calf strain), Gary Neville (virus) and Ryan Giggs (hamstring) could all be struggling to take part.

Dutch striker van Nistelrooy came off in the 71st minute after scoring the winner to seal a perfect few days for Ferguson, who chalked up his 1,000th game as United manager.

Van Nistelrooy made it an astonishing 36 goals in 37 games at this level for United - and it ended Lyon's spirited resistance.

He got on the end of a Rio Ferdinand cross to head the ball home after the defender showed good skill in the visitors’ box.

Ferguson said: "The man scored again, he is unbelievable. He only had a couple of chances and took up a perfect position to get the goal.

"You have to give Rio Ferdinand some credit in the build-up. He did exceptionally well to get the ball in."

United opened the scoring through a rare Neville goal, the defender lashing the ball home from close range.

While second only to Raul in all-time Champions League appearances - 95 - this was only his second goal at this level.

Ferguson admitted he was about to take the England international off as he was under the weather.

"We thought we would give him a minute but then he scores a goal," revealed the Scot.

Neville was replaced at the break by Wes Brown after Diarra had pulled Lyon level after an error by goalkeeper Roy Carroll.

Ferguson, however, refused to condemn his Northern Ireland shot-stopper.

"Roy has been very consistent," he said. "It can happen, goalkeepers make mistakes.

"I don't think it unbalanced us. We showed composure and gave a performance of real quality."

Ferguson was given some expensive wine by chief executive David Gill in a presentation on the pitch before the game.

And he saluted his team for a champagne display.

"I am proud of my players for the way they presented themselves,” added Ferguson.

"It was an open game and we could have scored a few more goals. Some of our football was great.

"I am pleased to have won the game as Lyon are difficult opponents."

Lyon coach Paul Le Guen gave a positive assessment of his team's performance, despite the defeat.

"We have nothing to be ashamed of," he said. "We played some good football and I was pleased with the display considering the number of injuries we've had.

"Manchester United deserved to win. The crowd drives them forward and that's an important factor.

"They have a good mixture of talented individuals and experienced players and they should do well in the tournament."

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We have to take 1st spot rather than 2nd. If we get 1st spot we will avoid, Juventus, Inter and Barcelona and Chelsea, 4 of the best teams in the champions league this season. Which means we could face Madrid(they will win in Rome:() but it will be much easier than any of the other teams above. Milan will be very hard but I would rather get them than Barcelona, and Bayern will be hard as usual and our history against them, apart from the final in 99, ain't a good one.

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Not ever sure if Barca will finish 1st though in their group, AC Milan is still top there, look there are no easy games in the CL. Whatever opponents we face will be difficult, if we want to go further in the CL, we still have to face the top teams sooner or later. :googly:
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