What's Buzzing:

Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Evra-Suarez race row is buried in the past

Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Evra-Suarez race row is buried in the past

View photo

Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Evra-Suarez race row is buried in the past

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful that the race row surrounding Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez is now firmly in the past as the Red Devils welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Suarez received a 40,000 pound fine and eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra during a match in October 2011, and the Uruguayan star snubbed a proposed handshake when the two sides met four months later in February 2012.

However, the two players have since played against each other and did exchange pleasantries earlier this season at Anfield, giving Sir Alex Ferguson reason to be optimistic that it will not be an issue again on Sunday.

"There will always be a certain build-up to a Manchester United and Liverpool games," Ferguson told reporters. "That's simply because of the history between the two clubs, the two most successful in the country - it brings its own agenda in terms of profile and pre-match discussion.

"Last year it was unfortunate with the Suarez behavior. But I think hopefully it's behind both clubs now and we can just look forward to the game."

The 71-year-old also spoke about a rollercoaster 2012, a year fraught with disappointments from a United perspective - particularly the final day of the season when the Red Devils lost the title to neighbor Manchester City on goal difference.

He continued: "There were a lot of ups and downs [in 2012]. It was disappointing. Firstly in European football we were knocked out the previous December and so we had to do without that.

"We were knocked out in the second game of the FA Cup - very unluckily - at Liverpool. We should have won that game. That left us with the league and then we lost that on the last day of the season on goal difference. So it was very, very frustrating.

"Since then we've done what we said we'd do. We qualified from the group stage of the Champions League. I thought we were unlucky to be knocked out of the League Cup by Chelsea, with the last kick of the ball, after we'd played so well.

"The league so far has gone well and we're in a good position. We just now need to make sure we kick on, keep our concentration and keep playing our football the way we are."

Despite strolling through its Champions League group and finishing in top spot with ease, United was awarded with arguably the toughest draw possible in the first knockout round against Real Madrid.

However, Ferguson believes it will have a great chance of winning the competition if it can get past Jose Mourinho's Spanish champion.

He continued: "No doubt about that at all. You needn't fear anyone if you win that. I look at the competition this year and there are four teams we have to pay attention to.

"Obviously we're drawn against one of them. If we get by that, then the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona will be there - Dortmund have been fantastic."

Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter

View Comments (3)
  • Malaysia in talks over 2017 A-League entry - report

    The Football Association of Malaysia have held discussions about sending a team to play in the Australian A-League next year, former Socceroos striker Dave Mitchell has said. Mitchell said he had proposed the idea to the FAM after being given the … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago
  • Porto win breathless classico as Casillas defies Benfica

    An inspired performance by goalkeeper Iker Casillas and a second-half goal from Vincent Aboubakar helped give Porto a 2-1 win at Benfica in a breathless, end-to-end 'classico' on Friday. Benfica, who had won their previous eight Primeira Liga … More »

    Reuters - 4 hours ago
  • Leicester City-Arsenal Preview

    With all the love Leicester City have received during their unlikely and meteoric rise to the top of the Premier League, it seems fitting their Valentine's Day opponent are Arsenal - jilted and forlorn for more than a decade as each of their annual … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
  • FIFA presidential candidates make presentations to CONCACAF

    Four of the five candidates for FIFA president made presentations to CONCACAF officials Friday. On the final day of a two-day meeting of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, favorites Gianni Infantino of … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • FIFA bans Valcke for 12 years

    FIFA bans Valcke for 12 years

    Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's long-time right-hand man, was banned from all soccer-related activity for 12 years Friday for misconduct during his term as FIFA secretary general. Valcke was found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of wide-ranging … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago