• Anders Lindegaard excels in goal against Benfica
• Manager bridles at suggestion of selection dilemma
Sir Alex Ferguson angrily denied that David de Gea's status as the No1 goalkeeper at Manchester United is in jeopardy after Anders Lindegaard enhanced his credentials with a commanding performance at Benfica.
Lindegaard produced several crucial saves in his first start of the season in a match in which Ryan Giggs equalised Oscar Cardozo's fine opener for Benfica with his 27th Champions League goal.
Asked if the Denmark international's display had given him a selection dilemma for Chelsea's visit to Old Trafford on Sunday, the United manager replied: "Not at all. David de Gea will play on Sunday. That's the understanding we had before the game and it doesn't change. I don't know why you ask these questions. You are just looking for stupid little things."
Ferguson's brusque response was delivered to ITV's reporter Kelly Cates, daughter of the Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish. He later indicated that a share of goalkeeping duties could become a common occurrence at Old Trafford. "We've got two great goalkeepers in Anders and David," he said.
"We were always getting to the moment when we were going to share that. David will play against Chelsea on Sunday and possibly Anders will play against Leeds on Tuesday, depending on how I see the situation in terms of Ben Amos, who needs some game time also. There are opportunities to spread that load because coming over to the English game, it's such a competitive intense league for a young goalkeeper. There will come a time when I need to give him a break. This was a good moment because he had a fantastic game on Saturday, so this was a nice time to give him a break."
Ferguson also paid tribute to Giggs who, on his first start of the season, secured a valuable point from distance. "It was a great goal, very good. I felt in the early part of the match he perhaps sat too deep in midfield but, when he got in behind them, in their central-midfield area, he was a real threat to them. It was terrific quality. I thought both goals were terrific. The boy Cardozo took his goal fantastically well, a fantastic turn and hit."
Ferguson also gave Fabio da Silva and Darren Fletcher an outing but Dimitar Berbatov was left on the bench throughout. The Bulgarian striker has yet to appear this season. "It's hard because of the number of strikers we have," the manager said. "Michael Owen is there and we've got [Federico] Macheda and [Mame Biram] Diouf too. It's not easy. [Danny] Welbeck will be back the week after next and it's not easy. Dimitar has been training really well, his attitude has been spot-on, brilliant, really good, and he'll get his game time, there's no question about that, as the season goes on because we're into European football, the League Cup, the league games. There are plenty of occasions."