Scholes backs Manchester United for Champions League final

AFP, Saturday 22 Mar 2014

Paul Scholes

Manchester United great Paul Scholes Saturday backed the struggling English giants to beat Bayern Munich and go all the way to the Champions League final -- even without injured top-scorer Robin van Persie.

Scholes admitted a rematch of the classic 1999 final, which he missed through suspension as United snatched it 2-1 at the death, would not have been the first choice of beleaguered manager David Moyes.

But the retired midfielder, 39, speaking during a promotional trip to Singapore, was upbeat regarding United's chances in the quarter-final saying that "over two legs, we can beat anybody".

"One of the teams you wouldn't want to get would have been Bayern Munich but if we can beat them, who knows, we can go all the way to the final," Scholes told reporters.

The English champions, now seventh in the Premier League, were matched against Pep Guardiola's Bayern, who are on the verge of winning the Bundesliga in record time, in the last eight draw on Friday.

Shortly afterwards, they announced that Dutch striker van Persie, with a club-leading four goals in the Champions League, was out for up to six weeks with a sprained knee.

The 30-year-old was stretchered off after scoring all of United's goals in their 3-0 last 16 win over Olympiakos, in a huge blow to their hopes of resurrecting a disappointing season.

"Robin went a long way to help us win the league last year but we still have players around him to create chances and we still have plenty of goals in the team," insisted Scholes.

He added that it was "far too early" to judge the under-fire Moyes, pointing out that the former Everton man had contended with a raft of injuries since taking over from Alex Ferguson.

"He's had so many injuries I feel sorry for him really... he's never been able to field the same back four," Scholes told local media on Friday.

"He just needs to try to finish the season in good style and try to win as many Premier League games as he can, and try to get into the Champion's League (final).

"If you get into the final of the Champion's League it wouldn't be a bad season."

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