Sir Alex Ferguson, celebrating his 1000th match in charge at Old Trafford, believes Manchester United are close to their best after they qualified for the Champions League knockout phase by beating Lyon.

Goals from Gary Neville and Ruud van Nistelrooy gave United a 2-1 win.

“It was an excellent performance. The confidence and rhythm is coming back now.

“I was ecstatic with the second half. There was a lot of composure and of course Ruud scored another for us.”

“Lyon are a very good side, undefeated this season, and it always takes a lot to beat a side like that.”

“There wasn’t a pressure, but certainly a hope everything would fall right for us.

“All day I was a bit nervy I suppose, you think that it could fall flat, that you could lose the game, but I kept saying to myself: ‘Look’s, there’s the 999 before it, and in games of football you can lose them,’

“The fans’ reaction was terrific and I’m proud of them.”