Real Madrid was able to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals after eliminating Manchester United thanks in part to a controversial call. Manchester United was off to an early lead, but a red card swung the momentum and put Real Madrid in control.
It wasn’t long after Man U’s Nani was sent off the pitch that Luka Modric scored the equalizer for Real Madrid and then Cristiano Ronaldo netted the game-winner two minutes later.
The loss was a crushing one for Manchester United who dominated the early action before being down to ten men.
Nani received the red card after sticking out to trap an incoming ball and unintentionally striking Real Madrid defender Álvaro Arbeloa right in the chest as attempted a play on the ball of his own.
Here was the foul that resulted in Nani sent off:
When you see the GIF, it was clearly an unintentional foul and Nani kept his eyes on the ball the entire time. He never saw Arbeloa coming in his direction until the contact was already made. Personally, I believe that should have been a yellow card and the decision to sent Nani off and give Real Madrid the advantage for the remainder of the game was the wrong one.
In big game situations, referees and officials will generally let the players play out the game without petty fouls and only make game changing calls if the penalty is obvious or flagrant. This wasn’t the case and Nani should have been allowed to stay in the game.
Unfortunately for Man U, the refs did not see it that way the red card was handed out. It cost the team a shot at a Champions League title and ended their run in heartbreaking fashion.
What do you think of the decision to give Nani a red card? Was it the right or wrong call? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.