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Ferguson blasts United players

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised his players for not reaching 'the standard' expected of Red Devils players in their 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final replay.

• Delaney at Stamford Bridge

• Payne: Chelsea prevail in day to forget for United

United failed in their attempt to claim the domestic double after Demba Ba's second-half goal secured Chelsea a semi-final showdown with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

The clubs' could not be split in a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in March.

And Ferguson did not hide his disappointment after the match, blasting the majority of his squad performances as a blemish on the United badge.

"The players are down because they know they can do better," Ferguson said.

"To be honest I thought that over the 90 minutes only Antonio Valencia reached the standard we expect of them … Phil Jones (did) for a good part of the game and David De Gea did well, but in terms of the 90 minute-performance Antonio Valencia was the only one."

However, Ferguson could have been singing another tune had Petr Cech not saved brilliantly from the head of diminutive striker Javier Hernandez.

"It was an unbelievable save," Ferguson added. "I think if we had got that goal then and we would have been OK. It may have gone to extra time, of course, but it would have brought us back in to the game and we didn't need to go chasing it."

But Ferguson knows there is no time to linger for his players as they chase the club's 20th league title.

And despite opening up a 15-point gap at the top of the Premier League, United's next game is a top-of-the-table derby against bitter foes, City.

"We will kick on," the United boss said. "It was disappointing (to lose against Chelsea), of course, but we have to forget all about it and move on to the game against City next Monday.

"We are in a good position obviously and I think a positive result for us on Monday will just about seal the title for us."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report


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