Sir Alex Ferguson insists he was right to leave David Beckham on the substitutes bench as Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

Beckham scored twice after coming on as a late substitute in a thrilling 4-3 victory at Old Trafford – but it was not enough to save United who were beaten 6-5 on aggregate.

But despite Beckham’s contribution, Ferguson maintained that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserved his place in the stating eleven.

“I saw it as quite a straightforward decision. Solskjaer’s form has been fantastic on the right hand side. I don’t regard Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a substitute any more – he deserved his place

“He had three or four great attempts on goal and he provided a real threat for us, which is what he has been doing.

“When players hit that kind of form you can’t just leave Solskjaer out because he has been a substitute in the past.

“I don’t regard him as a substitute any more – he deserved his place.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson was full of praise for Beckham’s dramatic contribution.

“He scored and worked and very hard,’ said the United boss. ‘It is what I expect from David because he is a terrific player.”