Champions League: Man Utd 1-2 Real Madrid (2-3 Agg.) – Ref In Spotlight As United Crash Out At Old Trafford (Photos & Highlights)

Alan Duffy

5th, March 2013


By Alan Duffy

Manchester United 1-2 Real Madrid – Champions League – 5th March 2013

Referee Cuneyt Cakır, the man who sent off John Terry in last season’s Champions League semi-final, was the villain of the piece (from the home side point of view) at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. The official’s controversial decision to send Nani off for dangerous play on 56 minutes was a major turning point in a dramatic night in Manchester.

Prior to the sending off, the Red Devils had impressed, with Danny Welbeck superb and Wayne Rooney surprisingly relegated to a place on the subs’ bench from the start. The home side’s pressure eventually told when Sergio Ramos put through his own net just after the break but Nani’s sending off would totally change the dynamic of the game.

Jumping in with his foot very high, Nani caught former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa in the midriff (ish) , although it looked worthy of nothing more than a yellow. However, ref Cakir’s decision to send off the Portuguese winger had Fergie and most of Old Trafford fuming.

The home side did their best to turn their frustration into positive energy, but the introduction of Luka Modric gave Los Merengues an added dimension, with the former Tottenham man eventually scoring courtesy of a magnificent curling effort.

Cristiano Ronaldo, a tad quiet by his standards up until then, then made it 2-1 on the night when he slid the ball home from a Gonzalo Higuain centre and that was that really.

United kept battling and were unlucky not to get a goal back but ultimately, a man down against Madrid proved a bridge too far for the Premier League leaders.

Interestingly, in the post-match analysis on ITV, none other than Roy Keane backed the ref’s decision to send off Nani. That’s sure to put the Corkonian cat amongst the Mancunian pigeons!



Photos: PA

Posted in Champions League, Man Utd, Newsnow, Videos

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  1. George says:

    So angry right now at the ref’s performance (in general, as well as the red card).

    Props to Mourinho for saying the best team lost though.

    UTD can exit with their heads held high

  2. George says:

    Also I’m pretty sure the same ref also sent off Ballotelli as well as Nani and Terry

  3. Graham says:

    Keane is such a bitter, bitter twat.

  4. Vasko says:

    It’s ridiculous when the refs try to be the stars of the show. Unless its a clear red card worthy offense, nobody wants to see such a great occasion spoiled by the antics of one idiotic referee who thinks that he’s the star of the show. What a twat. I would have rather fallen 4-0 to Madrid in fair circumstances than to a ridiculous piece of shit decision. Mourinho put it best “The better team lost.”

  5. Jarren says:

    Well done Madrid, well done United.

    Two fantastic teams who gave their all and gave the audience fantastic games to watch.

    However, the referee should not be allowed near a CL match ever again.

  6. truth hurts says:

    The only reason this came as a shock to most people is because it is so rare that united are on the bad side of a refereeing decision, rather, quite the opposite. Ibra saw red for almost the exact same thing a few weeks ago. Would’ve been great in mma, unfortunately not so much in this sport

  7. Hs says:

    I love it how everyone’s falling for Mourinho’s ‘the better team lost’. Exactly what Keane said ‘he’s being humble and it doesn’t suit him’. Quite an easy thing to say after going through. Although Man Utd had gone ahead they were not on top. It was an even game and noone would have been surprised if Real scored and took it to extra time (bar the sending off of course)

    Does Mourinho want that job at Old Trafford? Mmmm well he’s already started to butter up the fans and they’re falling for it.

  8. Alexander says:

    A fault is a fault, Nani spoiled the great occasion, not the referee. What happened to the respect the refs campaign& It seems it applies to all but MU…

  9. Dicksonator says:

    Nani needs to learn to head the ball. End of.

  10. Red_Devil says:

    @Dicksonator Nani is trying to trap the ball to have control of it, I don’t know about you, but trapping the ball with your head, never seen that successfully done before.

  11. sloth says:

    Let’s not forget that Carrick, van Persie, Rooney, and Vidic all missed clear scoring opportunities after Utd were 2-1 down…

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