Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester United as "one of the best teams in the world" after his side drew 1-1 at Old Trafford in the Champions League quarterfinals.
United's poor form under David Moyes this season has seen their reputation plummet in alarming fashion, yet Guardiola was gushing with praise for his rivals after their improved display kept the tie in the balance heading into the second leg in Munich.
"Manchester United has one of the best teams in the world, so I am quite satisfied [with the result]," Guardiola said. "I have full confidence in my players and hope the fans in Munich will push us like the United supporters did for their team.
"We scored an away goal which is important, but we also got lucky that efforts from Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney did not go in. The goal we conceded was difficult to defend.
"It is always dangerous when you go into the second leg with a 1-1 draw, but even a 2-1 victory would have been dangerous. We will try to win the second leg and I am sure we can do it.
"I am happy for our performance, with 70 percent possession, 15 attempts. It is not easy to create the chances, but we created quite enough. We were reacting good after going 1-0 down. It is not an exceptional result but it is good enough considering how good Manchester United are."
Guardiola also expressed his conviction that the red card shown to his midfield general Bastian Schweinsteiger was unjust, though he shied away from suggestions that United's Wayne Rooney had made the most of the challenge to ensure one of Bayern's star men was sent off.
When asked if he agreed with the decision, Guardiola offer a swift rebuttal: "Absolutely not," he said. "I spoke with the referee and he gave me his opinion. I have to respect."
"He is a very good referee. He made a very, very good game, but it is unfair, but it is OK. To win the Champions League you have to solve and overcome everything. In football this kind of thing happens."