Van der Sar happy with progress
Edwin Van der Sar is relieved Man Utd have avoided any complications in their Champions League group.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 24/11/09 1:02pm
Edwin Van der Sar is relieved that Manchester United have avoided any complications in their UEFA Champions League group.
The same cannot be said for the likes of Liverpool, Inter Milan and Barcelona who find themselves with plenty to do before they can secure their place in the knockout stages with just two games to go.
Even AC Milan and Real Madrid are not yet assured of a place in the last-16 with Marseille breathing down their necks in Group C while German giants and four-time winners Bayern Munich look certain to bow out.
However, the Red Devils secured qualification with relative ease, aside from a slight hiccup in the 3-3 draw at home to CSKA Moscow. In the end the point was enough to see United through and Van der Sar admits they must now concentrate on finishing top.
"The other groups are crazy," he said.
"It used to be the case that you always wanted to be first in your group but there are a couple this time where you know already that the runners-up would bring a difficult draw in February.
"The most important thing is to get the win tomorrow and see what happens later on."
Despite reaching the last two Champions League finals Van der Sar admits that United do not possess a divine right to reach the final at the Bernabeu in May.
"It is not easy to get to the final," he added.
"There is a lot of quality around and we have lost some players, so just because you have reached two consecutive finals, it doesn't automatically mean you are going to get to a third. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
"But what we are doing now is all building to what we hope will be a nice end to the season.
"You don't win things early in the season. You have a path to go along, starting with the group phase. Everything is part of the big picture to win a trophy."