LONDON (Reuters) - Reaction to the sending-off of Manchester United winger Nani during their Champions League last-16, second-leg match against Real Madrid at Old Trafford.
* Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan:
“The manager is not in a state to talk to the referee about the decision. I think it speaks volumes I am here (in the post-match news conference) speaking now and not the manager of this fantastic football club. The decision seemed very harsh, possibly incredible at that moment in the game.”
Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso:
“It was a difficult decision to take from the referee, but we have seen in many previous games that it can be harder playing against 10 men.”
* Everton manager David Moyes:
”I think tonight Sir Alex Ferguson will be rightly as angry as he has ever been. The decision changed the game.
“I am looking from a manager’s point of view and Manchester United have had a hard time tonight. I think they have a right to surround the referee. The decision was poor and it has cost them the biggest prize in football.”
* Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane:
“In my career I would think ‘did I give the referee a chance to send me off?’ If I did, then it is out of my hands. I think that is the right decision. It is irrelevant if Nani meant to do it. He should be aware of the players around him. Does he think that he will have 20 yards to himself?.”
* Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher:
”(The decision was) harsh to say the least but in fairness the Real player did Nani no favours whatsoever. At worst Nani catches the underside of his arm, certainly not the ribs as the guy has gone down and shown.
“I can’t reiterate enough that he (Nani) is watching the ball over his shoulder, there was no malice in him. At worst it was a yellow for dangerous play, but if I was refereeing that game I cannot see what stretch of the imagination where I would have sent him off for that.”
* Former Liverpool and Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann:
“He wants to bring it down, I think no Real Madrid player expected it, nobody was claiming a red card. He didn’t see him he didn’t mean to do it, it’s not even a booking.”
Former Bayern Munich and Aston Villa striker Alan McInally:
“It’s a disgrace, a shocking decision, that has put Manchester United out of the Champions League.” (Compiled by Toby Davis, editing by Ed Osmond)