Champions League - Nani red card 'was the right decision'

Reaction to the sending-off of Manchester United winger Nani against Real Madrid at Old Trafford has been mixed, with opinions ranging from 'the right decision' to 'a disgrace'.

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Champions League - Nani red card 'was the right decision'
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2012-13 Champions League, Manchester United-Real Madrid, José Mourinho, Nani (AP/LaPresse)

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."

Former Manchester United star Lou Macari: "I thought it was a strange decision - a referee from Turkey who we hadn't heard of. He had no great reputation of being one of the top referees. You don't have referees like that for these big games. The referee's assessor was there last night and he's a proper referee from the past, (Pierluigi) Collina. I am sure he looked at the decision and thought, 'he's got it wrong'. I couldn't believe it when he pulled out the red card - it was simply a wrong decision."

And from the realm of Twitter:

Former England captain Gary Lineker: "The referee has absolutely killed Manchester United!"

Marseille midfielder Joey Barton: "Refs ruined what was a great European cup tie. Not sure what he seen to make that a straight red?"

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague: "Manchester United was superior without even the ball, dominated without possession. Ref had a superior influence that he should."

Sportingintelligence: "Won't do ref any favours on Twitter he follows only 2 non-Turkish clubs; 1 is Real Madrid, other Barca. Also follows Spanish tourism board!"

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville: "Been going to OT since age of 5 and I've never seen the whole ground as in disbelief as they were last night at a decision! Nani is a player who regularly tries to control a pass like this over his shoulder and its never a red card! Changed the whole game!Poor ref."

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