sport

Ferguson backing for Dortmund

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Borussia Dortmund remain the Champions League dark horses even though he backed AC Milan to win last night.

Goals from former Portsmouth pair Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari proved enough to beat the overwhelming competition favourites at the San Siro last night, providing Barcelona with a stiff test if they are to retain an interest in the competition at the Nou Camp in three weeks' time.

Bayern Munich have now been installed as favourites for the tournament, although that status is based mainly on the fact they are virtually certain to reach the last eight following their 3-1 win at Arsenal on Tuesday.

Only Celtic's conquerors Juventus find themselves in a similarly advantageous position, although Paris St Germain also gained a narrower advantage from their away tie in Valencia.

Ferguson, whose side entertain Real Madrid on March 5 having drawn the first leg at the Bernabeu, has watched the remainder of the ties with interest.

And whilst he accepts the competition is tight, Dortmund, who, along with Real, ensured Manchester City did not make it through to the knock-out phase for the second season running, remain the side he would most wish to avoid.

"It is a very open tournament," said Ferguson.

"I fancied Milan last night. Over the last few years they have played Barcelona quite a few times but they have never been steamrollered. They have always been tight games.

"I look at the AC Milan team now and they are all young lads in the team apart from Ambrosini.

"Bayern have always had capable and confident teams. Last year they should have won the final and have added to their squad this year with Javi Martinez and Mario Mandzukic up front. They are going to have a chance.

"But the dark horse is definitely Dortmund.

"I don't think they are paying too much attention to the league. Their concentration is on the European Cup and their European form has been very good.

"In addition you have got the two Spanish teams and Milan so it is a really tough competition this year.

"But if we qualify against Madrid we will definitely come into the same bracket."