'Distraught' Ferguson in 'no fit state' to speak as Nani is shown a red card, Ferdinand erupts in fury and Ronaldo sends his old team crashing out of Europe
22:45 GMT, 5 March 2013
23:24 GMT, 5 March 2013
Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson was too 'distraught' to speak to the media in the aftermath of his side's 2-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid.
The United manager was incensed at the red card for Nani which ultimately proved crucial in their elimination from the Champions League and with his side perhaps the better team despite the result, was said not to be 'in any fit state' to discuss the outcome.
'I don't think the manager is in any fit state to talk to the referee about the decision,' said Phelan, who explained he had never felt a greater sense of injustice. 'It speaks volumes that he is not sat here speaking to you.
'Distraught': Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not available for comment tonight
'We're extremely disappointed. We have a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager.
'We are all witnesses to a decision that seemed very harsh, and incredible at that moment in the game.
'To say we are disappointed is an understatement. We felt as though we had got things right tactically and were reasonably comfortable.
'That amazing decision changed things totally.
Bemused: Ferguson unsurprisingly did not agree with the decision to dismiss Nani
Sarcastic: Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir
'Referees are there to make decisions in big games.
'There is an element of doing the right thing at the right moment.
'All you guys and TV audience will have a decision. It is a disappointing one. It spoiled the game.'
Incandescent: Ferguson was furious about Nani's red card, which significantly changed the game
Controversial: Many observers felt Nani's red card swung the game in Real's favour
If Ferguson and Phelan felt they
could justify their frustration – a sentiment largely encapsulated by
Rio Ferdinand sarcastically applauding referee Cuneyt Cakir after the
final whistle –
Jose Mourinho was uncharacteristically in agreement with them,
insisting United had deserved the victory given to Real by Cristiano
Ronaldo's winning goal and that he had expected his side to produce
'Independent of the decision, the best team lost,' the Real manager told ITV. 'We didn't play well, we didn't deserve to win, but football is like this.
'I am not sure about the decision, but independent of that, the best team lost.
Wrong call The decision to send Nani off seemed harsh on Manchester United
Unimpressed: Jose Mourinho was unconvinced by his Real Madrid side's performance
'I am happy that we are through but I expected more from my team,' he added to Spanish television channel TVE.
'When your goalkeeper is the best player on the pitch and you are playing against 10 men then that shows you are not controlling the match as you should.
'But you have to know how to suffer and how to win under those circumstances.'