Lindegaard backs solid defence

Manchester United keeper encouraged by 'world-class' back-line

Anders Lindegaard: Manchester United goalkeeper has praised the team's world-class defence

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Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard believes his side's form is down to a 'world-class' defence.

The Red Devils beat Aston Villa 1-0 on Saturday - claiming their fourth clean sheet in just five Premier League games.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side have also scored one goal in each of their last seven games, but it has usually been enough for the three points.

The back-line came in for criticism at the start of the season, especially after they conceded six goals in the defeat by rivals Manchester City in October.

They will qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League if they keep another clean sheet against Basel on Wednesday.

They only need a point against the Swiss champions who managed to score three goals at Old Trafford earlier this season.

But Lindegaard is confident of progression and believes centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are proving their worth.

World-class

He said: "Our defence was world class against Aston Villa. Vidic and Ferdinand showed they are truly world-class players.

"The quality we have been showing in defence since the Manchester City game has been scary.

"The competition for those two spots is amazing. There are four or five players that could play in those positions.

"We have a couple of world-class defenders in Rio and Nemanja but Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are ready to fill their positions."