Semi-final reaction

Evra not scared of Messi

April 30, 2009

Patrice Evra has claimed he would relish the prospect of coming up against Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The Manchester United defender kept Arsenal's Theo Walcott quiet in Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final, first leg at Old Trafford and has backed himself to do the same with the tricky Argentinian should they meet in the final.

Evra said: "I can play against a player like Messi, I don't fear anybody, I just play my game.

"But it's too soon to start thinking about that. We have to play well in the second leg at Arsenal and then we can start to think about our dream.

"I watched the other semi-final and Chelsea defended very well and have given themselves a good chance at Stamford Bridge."

Evra believes United can expect a sterner test from the Gunners in the return leg at the Emirates, but that it would be a mistake to view his duel with Walcott as being decisive.

The French full-back added: "The most important thing is the team and not me against Walcott, for example. I was not focused on that.

"Arsenal will attack more on Tuesday - I think [Robin] van Persie will be back and they need to win - but we need to go there with the aim of winning, rather than just trying to keep a clean sheet."

Evra was disappointed United only emerged with a 1-0 victory from the first leg.

"Before the game, 1-0 looked a good result but, on the performance, I think 1-0 is not enough because we created a lot of chances - maybe four or five - and scored only one of them, so I'm disappointed about that," said Evra.

"We played well and Arsenal could do nothing against us. Now we need to do the same at the Emirates and we can get to the final.

"The performance was good but I think it's still 50-50.

"Congratulations to (Gunners goalkeeper) Manuel Almunia because, if he was not there, we could have won 4-0. Let's hope he doesn't have the same performance in the next game."