G Nev: Avoiding knocks was key

Published May. 25, 2011 1:15 a.m. ET

The Red Devils legend brought the final curtain down on his Old Trafford career with a star-studded clash against Juventus, just days before United tackle Barcelona at Wembley in the European showpiece. Sir Alex Ferguson allowed Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to feature for the opening 30 minutes before withdrawing them from the fray for the battle ahead. Rooney found the net after being set up by Giggs before Juve hit back when the trio departed and claimed a 2-1 victory on the night with goals from Simone Pepe and Manuel Giandonato. But the result could not take the shine off a night which was a fitting tribute to the Old Trafford favourite, who will join the Sky Sports team now his playing days are over. Neville told Sky Sports: "The most important thing was that the lads got through it without getting injured. I enjoyed the night, and it was a great turn-out. "It was played at a high tempo which was important with Saturday coming up for the lads. "I'm so proud of everything. Hopefully now it can be a great week and we can finish it off on Saturday. "The fans have so much to contend with, they are always loyal to the players and they have done that again tonight." Around 42,000 fans saw Juventus emerge 2-1 winners but there was no action for Darren Fletcher. That would appear to be a clear indication the Scot is set to miss out on Saturday, which would bring Fletcher more Champions League misery given he missed the clash with Saturday's opponents Barcelona two years ago through suspension. Neville did thank Beckham, Nicky Butt and brother Phil, who helped complete the famed 'Class of 92' for one more United appearance. And Beckham echoed Neville's words of hope for his old club this weekend. "I hope we win. It is as simple as that," Beckham told Key103. "Barcelona are such a great football side, one of the best in the world. "But if any club, and any manager, can beat them it is Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson. "The manager continues to do it. He continues changing teams and players, yet Manchester United keep on going. "That is why there is so much respect for him throughout the game and why he is the best manager in the world."