The Red Devils were leading on aggregate at Old Trafford, until Nani was dismissed for catching Alvaro Arbeloa on the chest with his studs, in what looked to be an accidental offense.
The game swung after the Portuguese international’s red card, with Real snatching the win thanks to goals from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Phelan said after the match that United’s players were deeply upset by the result and the way in which it occurred:
“It’s a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager,” He is quoted by Sky Sports.
“We thought we had the tactics right for the game for such a big occasion. We felt comfortable at times and 0-0 was where we wanted to be.
“We came out, scored a goal and that put us in a commanding position.”
He went on to state that the decision to send Nani off changed the game, and made the task almost impossible for United:
“Then the game totally changed.
“The decision was amazing, but we had to carry on. Playing Real Madrid with 11 men is very difficult and, in a game of this magnitude with all the world watching, we feel very, very disappointed that we ended the game with 10 men.”
Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly angered by the officials after the final whistle, as were a number of his players.
Phelan revealed that the Scot was not in a position to talk following the game due to the magnitude of the game and the ill-feeling produced:
“I don’t think the manager is any fit state to talk to the referee about the decision.
“We all saw and witnessed a decision that seemed very harsh, possibly incredible, at that moment in the game.”
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