6th of March 2013 Author: Glo Wood
Manchester United went ahead in the last-16 second leg tie but then Nani was controversially sent off for a high challenge. Real Madrid capitalised on the numerical advantage and Cristiano Ronaldo, on his return to Old Trafford, eventually tapped in the winner after Luka Modric's amazing equaliser. Surprisingly, Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has claimed "the best team lost" after 10-man Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League. "Independent of the decision, the best team lost. We didn't deserve to win but football is like this," Mourinho said.
Following a 1-1 draw in Spain, United had the better start in the second leg and captain Nemanja Vidic struck the post with a powerful header. The home side took the lead at the start of the second half when Sergio Ramos deflected Nani's cross into his own net. But things changed just before the hour mark when referee Cuneyt Cakir dismissed Nani for a high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa. The numerical advantage was quickly exploited by Real Madrid with Luka Modric curling home a superb equaliser before Ronaldo tapped one in from close range to wrap up a flowing team move.
"My feeling is that Manchester United were playing very well, were very compact and aggressive in a good way," Mourinho added. "I doubt that 11 v 11 we win the match. I know Manchester United are giants, not just physically but mentally. I know they have a manager who can motivate then, but I was waiting for us to play in a different way."
On the other hand Sir Alex Ferguson refused to face the media at the end of the match. Ferguson was visibly enraged after Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir sent off Nani. United assistant manager Mike Phelan replaced him at the post-match media conference and said: "It's a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager. That's why I am sitting here now."
Real Madrid are now the big favourites to win this season's Champions League, here are the outright odds for the top five teams at Bet365:
Real Madrid - 9/4
Bayern Munich - 3/1
Barcelona - 11/2
Borussia Dortmund - 6/1
Juventus - 9/1
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