Giggs bemused by free-kick fuss

February 27, 2007

Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs insists he has no regrets over his controversial free-kick winner against Lille last month.

The French side head to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Champions League knock-out clash with Manchester United tomorrow, still seething at Giggs' quickly-taken free-kick which gave the Red Devils their priceless away win at Lens' Stade Felix-Bollaert.

Already, Lille have had two appeals against the result rejected by UEFA and are still considering a further complaint to the Court of Arbitration for Sport even though a verdict would not come until after the tie is completed.

Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a stinging attack on Lille for the conduct of their players after the goal, when they appeared to be ready to walk off the pitch in protest.

And, if a similar situation presented itself again tomorrow, or at any time in the future, Giggs has confirmed he would do exactly the same again.

'It doesn't matter if there is a huge fuss again, I am not breaking the rules so I would do it,' Giggs told the Manchester Evening News.

'I asked the referee if could I take the kick quickly against Lille. The referee came over and said `do you want the whistle?' and I said `no, I'll take a quick one'.

'I was pleased to see it go in - if it hadn't I probably would have had a few words off the boss.

'The last time I scored a goal like that, no one thought about walking off the pitch. I was just amazed by what was happening around us; we didn't know what was going on.'

The controversy is sure to add extra spice to the second leg, when United will be odds-on favourites to progress, especially now Wayne Rooney has been passed fit.

Rooney had been a major doubt after limping out of Saturday's win over Liverpool with a nasty knee injury.

The England striker was left with blood running from a wound on the side of his knee after being caught by a high tackle from international team-mate Jamie Carragher, and Ferguson confirmed the 21-year-old would be sent for a scan.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sidelined for three weeks following knee surgery, Henrik Larsson due to return to Sweden after Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final and Alan Smith not yet back to full fitness since breaking his leg in two places in an FA Cup tie at Liverpool last season, Ferguson could ill afford to lose Rooney for a prolonged period.

And happily, the scans have revealed no damage, so the £27million former Everton man - who has not scored a Champions League goal since his debut-day hat-trick against Fenerbahce in September 2004 - will be involved against Lille.

'Wayne is fine now and will be fit for selection,' confirmed Ferguson.

'We have a couple of doubts for the match but Wayne is not one of them.'