MANCHESTER United assistant manager Mike Phelan admitted Sir Alex Ferguson was “not in a fit state” to question why Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir sent Nani off at Old Trafford.
From a position of some promise, 2-1 up on aggregate after Sergio Ramos’ own goal, ten-man United were dumped out of the Champions League as Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo scored to take Real Madrid into the quarter-finals.
United were seething at Cakir’s decision to red card Nani for a high tackle on Arvelo Arbeloa.
Rio Ferdinand applauded the official sarcastically after the final whistle, whilst a clearly incensed Ferguson took the unprecedented step of avoiding media duties, presumably for fear of what he might say.
“The manager is not in fit state to talk to the referee about the decision,” said Phelan.
“It speaks volumes that I am sat here.
“We are all witnesses to a decision that seemed very harsh, and incredible at that moment in the game.”
Jose Mourinho said Real Madrid did not deserve to progress.
“Independent of the decision, the best team lost. We didn’t play well, we didn’t deserve to win but football is like this,” said the Portuguese. “They were very aggressive, they were very well organised tactically and the match was very difficult for us. But I doubt that 11 against 11 we can win that match.”