Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes his team may have benefitted from conceding an early goal during their Champions League opener against Maccabi Tell Aviv, arguing that the setback galvanised his side into action.

“Conceding an early goal is notalways a bad thing,’ he asaid. ‘You don’t like losing goals but it was early in the match and I think when teams score early against us it tends to liven us up.

“It was a good football match, some of the attacking play was terrific…and it’s a good start.”

“The name of the game tonight was about not letting them play in our half,” Ferguson said.

“They are quite clever, they proved that by scoring two goals, although maybe we took our foot off the peddle a bit before their second.”

The match was memorablle for United”s Uruguayan striker Diegop Forlan who scored his first goal for the club on his 27th apppearance.

“It felt a bit different because scoring a penalty is not the same as scoring on the pitch, but I am happy,” Forlan said.

“The fans have been willing me to score ever since I have been here and that has been a great help. All I can say to them is that I will try and do the same as I have since I came here – and that’s to try my best.

“I want to play well and if I can score that’s good.”

“I looked at Becks and he told me that if I wanted to take it, it was all mine,” Forlan added.

“When I placed the ball (on the spot) I was a little bit nervous, but when I ran up I tried to be calm as scoring was important.

Maccabi coach Itzhak Schum vowed his side would perform much betterin the return leg.

“The beginning of the match was excellent from our point of view,” Schum said.

“Later the players didn’t play so well.”

“I felt great after our first goal but I’ve seen many games in which a team has taken a lead and then lost the game.”

“Hopefully the next game will be in Israel when we can do much better.”