Man Utd 1-2 Real Madrid (2-3 Agg.): XI Conclusions

Chris Wright

6th, March 2013


By Chris Wright

1. First up, this never was and never will be a red card offence…

Terrible terrible call. Taken out of context and seen in isolation like this ^ it looks nasty, but it was blatantly obvious that Nani was rising to pull the ball out of the sky and Arbeloa’s flank just so happened to get caught in his path. It was all an absolute nonsense: the delay, the decision, the drama. The crap that Roy Keane was spouting about Nani being “aware” of Arbeloa had me seething where I sat.


Thankfully, Cuneyt Cakir’s truly shite decision didn’t go on to overly influence the game…oh, wait a second…

2. Wayne Rooney’s omission from the starting line-up was just a judgement call which was more than justified by Danny Welbeck’s performance on the night. It wasn’t “payback” for the contract wrangling from THREE YEARS AGO (don’t you think Fergie would’ve pulled him from the Champions League Final in 2011 or something if he was going to rob him of a big game as punishment?) and it’s not the “end of the road for Rooney at United” so f**k off the lot of you shit-stirring tabloid vultures.

3. The Tyldesley/Townsend axis needs to be broken up post haste. ITV football is teetering on the verge of becoming utterly unwatchable.

4. Nemanja Vidic wins the world in the air.

5. Jose Mourinho’s assertion that “the best team lost” on the night coupled with his lack of celebration on the touchline and him prematurely slinking down the tunnel, heck, it almost seemed like he was deliberately trying not to do his future career prospects any harm *nudge nudge wink wink*.

6. Luka Modric is far too good to be sitting on anybody’s bench, even Real Madrid’s. Even without throwing his superb goal into the mix, Luka gave Madrid’s central midfield so much more purpose when he came on – though a certain refereeing decision did make it a lot easier for him to wade in so effectively.

7. Real Madrid ‘keeper Diego Lopez was the Man of the Match by a country mile. We took immense joy in Andy Townsend (we promise we’re not obsessed) writing him off as a shaky second-string ‘keeper only for the former Villarreal man to produce a string of four or five top notch saves immediately thereafter!

8. It may be nothing more than a “far post tap-in” in every single match report this morning, Cristiano Ronaldo’s finish was a lot tougher than it looked and it wasn’t quite the sitter it first appeared to be. Tricky little bugger to get right, that – take it from a man who’s missed his fair share of far post tap-ins!

9. After Ronaldo scored we stumbled upon a moral quandary: If one is to purposefully not celebrate a goal out of “respect” for a former team (which we find a bit lame anyway), then surely one must also hold his hands up in apology after a defense-splitting pass or tearing past a defender and delivering a pinpoint cross, etc? Basically, Ronaldo should’ve played all night with his hands apologetically wafting around in the air.

10. Again, on Ronaldo: The prodigal son didn’t “go missing” or “have a quiet one” on his big return (Adrian Chiles, I’m looking at you). He was man-marked almost four-fold for the majority of the game and still managed to score the winning goal.

11. Shame he was so “distraught” as we’d have loved to have seen Fergie’s post-match interview after that one!

Agree/Disagree? Let us know all about it…

Posted in Champions League, Featured, Man Utd, Newsnow, Opinion, Real Madrid, Top 10s & lists

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  1. tipo 00 says:

    i bet there’s a few people calling him Cuntey Caker this morning.

  2. Al says:

    @ Chris – you are completely wrong about the red card, check the rule book, straight red every time

    • Chris says:

      @Al: A yellow would’ve sufficed and diffused the whole situation, not that what Nani did was even worthy of a caution. No malice, completely unaware of Arbeloa and nothing more than an accident = no red card, regardless of the small print.

  3. tipo 00 says:

    and yeah, that whole ‘not celebrating’ debacle. it’s really winding me up these days. ‘respect for the fans’ is often the excuse. well don’t leave the club in the first place then. score an own goal if you’re that bothered. some people…

  4. tipo 00 says:

    i agree al, that guy that posted the rules in the other comments section. dems the rules.

  5. Jonny says:

    At the time I thought that the Nani challenge was a yellow card at worse, but I can also understand why the referee decided to send him off. The delay didn’t help things, if the red card had been branded immediately I think it would have taken a little heat off the referee. It wasn’t violent conduct as there was clearly no intent to harm, just foul play which *could* have really hurt Arbeloa. I should probably add that I’m a referee myself…

  6. Mr Sensible says:

    I thought the law for a red was excessively dangerous play or brute force? It probably is dangerous but I don’t see how trying to control the ball in the air (and making contact first) is excessively dangerous or brute, it clearly isn’t.

    I agree with point 5, it really did seem like Jose was doing his best not to piss off the United fans and show his respect for the club, you just know when he was talking to Ferguson straight after the red he was telling him the decision was a joke.

    A point you didn’t mention was although the red card changed the game it was down largely to Jose’s incredible ability adapt and make instant changes, bringing on Modric and going for the kill for 10 minutes worked brilliantly, as soon as they got the 2 goals they sat back and allowed us the attack knowing they could further punish us on the counter and had a 1 goal cushion.

    Jose is a brilliant manager and I’m sure he will manage us in the next few years.

  7. jojo says:

    Madrid was far better than United in the two games, I think in the end they deserved to go through. If United didn’t play this awful catenaccio and used RvP and Rooney more, they could definitely score against Madrid’s at times shaky defence. Ferguson chose not to, clinging on to the narrowest of margins possible. Fear will never win you games.

  8. Nuno says:

    Not a “terrible call” by any means. The yellow card would be the more sensible approach, but anyone who READ THE RULES can understand what the ref saw. It WAS dangerous play, end of. “Contact sport” means contact between shoulders, some pushing and shoving but not put your studs on someone’s abdomen. But well, it’s England, you’re used to see players breaking other guys legs so I guess this is perfectly normal to you.

  9. at says:

    Love that you mentioned the Townsend and Lopez crack.

  10. Mr. Chopper says:

    If Arbeloa hadn’t have jumped (which, if Nani wasn’t paying any attention to him as stated, he wouldn’t have known either way) he’d have got smacked right in the face.

  11. Jamie says:

    The not celebrating after a goal thing is ridiculous, especially when most of the time, the fans of the club they left and are refusing to celebrate against see fit to boo them every time they touch the ball for no other reason than they used to play for them. Gareth Barry last week against Villa is the perfect example. Played for them for twelve years, yet got a shite reception.

    • Chris says:

      @Jamie: It’s also a bit of a “two fingers up” at the fans of your current team, who are likely to be fairly pleased that you’ve scored.

  12. mikeyj47 says:

    You missed one… Rio Ferdinand is a despicable cunt.

    Or are you taking that as a given?

  13. Big Son says:

    I thoroughly enjoy this website and, in spite of the point I will make, will continue to visit it (procrastination gold!).
    However more often than not it caters to the needs of Man United fans (yes, I am a Liverpool fan [and yes, I am delighted with the result last night]).
    It seems that fuming United fans can come here to be miserable in harmony whilst any other team that loses will get slated and laughed at. Perhaps it’s just this one writer, Chris? (I don’t really keep up with the names).
    Also, your disbielf at Ronaldo not celebrating his goal is playing dumb really. What did you expect! Madrid fans are hardly going to be angry as he’s just put them through and United fans appreciate the gesture and his legendary status at the club remains untouched.
    Again, I love the site

  14. Nuno says:

    @Jamie: that was clearly not the case yesterday, as United fans cheered for Ronaldo before the game. If they showed recognition towards Ronaldo, why can’t he do that also. In that case you should be calling ridiculous to the fans who cheered for Ronaldo before and after the game! (I sense you prefer fans to simply give a shite reception do a player who left their team, no matter how good he played for them).
    Of course they booed him during the game, he was playing against them, but the recognition they showed towards him made him do that. He IS a professional, he made a few shots, when possible (more towards the end), trying to score, but the recognition they showed made him not celebrate. I fully understand and respect that. I don’t understand how people could possibly find anything wrong in what Ronaldo did last night…

  15. Michael_D says:

    @Chris – the problem is Nani has those lapses of judgement where you put yourself at the mercy of a ref’s decision…and this was another one of those moments. If it were Arbeloa who put his boot, studs up, into the ribs of Nani the story would’ve been how Arbeloa’s lack of being sent-off affected the match. You can debate it, but the problem is that the incident fell within the statutes of what constitutes a sending-off, and the ref in this case ruled as such, I’m not sure why you can fault him for that.

    All that aside, it was still a fantastic match and its just a shame United had to go out. Such is football…

  16. Ryan says:

    Thanks for posting that GIF of Modric’s goal, shows once again what a shite player Carrick is…… way to give up the chase jackass! I don’t understand how this guy remains in the starting XI, he is not an international or champions league material.

  17. Redskywalker7 says:

    I love you Chris.

  18. MG says:

    You could also argue that Arbeloa’s tackle on Evra in the first half (which was given a yellow) could be deemed dangerous play as well. The tackle was up around Evra’s knees and it was meant as a tackle – whereas Nani was trying to play the ball, not trying to dispossess a player.

  19. 19 says:

    @BigSon – what else should be expected considering you’re a fan of the most decrepit, bitter and shite footballing team in England. Yes, your team that supports racists is even worse than QPR.
    Liverpuddle will never win a major trophy again, especially not after Suarez goes to Bayern, so every defeat that United suffers is like a mini trophy for you pathetic lot.
    Take a brick and smack yourself repeatedly until your brainless skull turns to moosh

  20. Beaudene says:

    Did u guys see the punch from Lopez on Vidic? Accidental, yes! No action was taken. So what’s the difference?

  21. Big Son says:

    @19 Goodness me!

  22. smrc says:

    Talkin about conclusion no. 5 ;)
    Haven’t seen that one in your archives, so I guess it’s a pretty interesting one. Traslation in the top comment or something

  23. packy says:

    oi 19 go fuck yourself you Manc cunt

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