Real Madrid qualified for the quarterfinals of the champions league as controversy ended Manchester United’s treble dream last night. The biggest game of the season by far was ruined by a refereeing decision when he opted to send Nani off for a dangerous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa.
Having drawn the game 1-1 at the Bernabeu, the second leg was delicately poised and the whole world was watching. However, the entire taste of the tie was destroyed in the 56th minute as United went down to 10 men and Madrid capitalized to beat the Red Devils at their own backyard.
United have been in fantastic form this season and were strong contenders for not only winning the competition but also completing the treble. On the other hand, although Los Blancos are having a torrid league campaign but recently they have been ruthless.
The Spanish champions came into this fixture in hot form as they defeated rivals Barcelona twice in matter of days but Manchester United were a completely different prospect. Sir Alex Ferguson was there in Spain to witness Madrid demolish Barcelona in Copa del Rey semi final and prepared his side for the match accordingly.
Ferguson got his tactics spot on with his brilliant defensive and counter attacking tactics. Red Devils deservedly took the lead through an own goal but that did not last for long. United were surely the better side up until that controversial moment arrived. In all fairness, Nani’s sight was firmly set on the ball, no doubt a dangerous challenge but perhaps no one thought that referee would produce red card for that.
The atmosphere completely changed after the sending off as manager Alex Ferguson was furious to see his side go down to 10 men. With a man advantage, Madrid bombarded United’s defense and eventually equalized through substitute Luka Modric who fired in a wonder goal from outside the box. Minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that United are out of sight as he scored the winner on his return to Old Trafford.
Even after going behind in the tie and a man down, Manchester United showed fighting spirit and did not give up. However, Madrid’s goalie Diego Lopez was in brilliant form and was by far man of the match on the night as he made several brilliant saves to make sure Madrid do not concede more than one goal.
At the final whistle, United players surrounded the referee for his dismal decision that cost them the tie. Ferguson continued showing his displeasure and refused to show up for the press conference while Mourinho walked into the tunnel right after the game ended and claimed that the best team lost.
Football can be cruel at times and United just have to get over this controversial exit from Europe and focus on the domestic competitions. United have a tough tie against Chelsea in the FA Cup but have breathing space in the league.
Jose Mourinho was not impressed by his side’s performance and believed that had it stayed 11 vs 11, Madrid might have lost the tie as well. The Spanish champions are perhaps out of the la liga title race, nevertheless, Madrid keep alive the dream of winning 10th European Cup that they have been chasing for the past 10 years.
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