A highly controversial decision by Turkish referee,Cuneyt Cakir, in the fifty-sixth minute, with United leading 1 – 0, changed the game and ultimately sent The Reds out of the European cup.
With an excitement not seen regularly at Old Trafford, tension was high shortly before kick-off, when the shock news the Rooney was on the bench flooded round the ground. However, despite a tentative start, The Reds grew into the game and where unlucky not to score in the twenty first minute as Vidic sent a thundering header crash off the post from a Ryan Giggs corner.
Again in the thirty fourth minute United came close as Van Persie worked some space before forcing Lopez into a smart stop, the rebound feel to Welbeck who was unfortunate to find the ball hit Lopez and loop over the goal for a corner.
At half time United looked comfortable, and Real, Cristiano Ronaldo especially, a little sluggish. There was growing optimism, if not belief that if United could score, they may just progress.
The goal came in the forty-eighth minute as good work from Rafael saw the ball fall first to Welbeck, then to Van Persie whose shot was blocked, Nani picked up the lose ball and drove a low cross across goal that was poked into the net by Sergio Ramos.
However, minutes later the referee ensured he would walk away from this game with his moment of fame, as astonishingly he produced a red card for a raised foot by Nani.
After the sending off the game was dominated by Madrid who sent on Modric, who got their first in the sixty-fifth minute with a powerful whipped from the edge of the area that cracked the post and run along the goal line before nestling into the bottom corner of the net.
The second goal came from a one-two between Ozil and Higuain as the striker drove a low ball across the six yard line and Cristiano Ronaldo was on hand at the far post to tap it in.
Following the second, Madrid seemed content to sit back and let United attack. However, bar another thunderous effort from Vidic, unfortunately hit straight at the goalkeeper, the home side offered little in the way of real chances.
Following the game Jose Mourinho admitted the best team had lost and Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t even talk to the press, he was, “too distraught” according to assistant manager Mike Phelan.
It’s a sickening feeling for all United fans around the world as, rather than being outclassed for ninety minutes, this United side actually looked on top before the shocking dismissal and it’s hard not to feel distraught as yet another European Campaign ends in heartbreak.
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