• Champions League

Mourinho: The best team lost at Old Trafford

ESPN staff
March 5, 2013

Jose Mourinho admitted Real Madrid did not deserve to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a controversial 2-1 win over 10-man Manchester United.

The Spanish giants looked on course to exit Europe's grandest club competition when Sergio Ramos' own-goal shortly after half-time gave United the initiative in the second leg at Old Trafford.

But the encounter was turned on its head when Nani was given what seemed a harsh red card in the 56th minute for a mid-air challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa.

Luka Modric levelled on the night and on aggregate with a spectacular strike from distance 10 minutes later before, inevitably, United old boy Cristiano Ronaldo scored what proved to be the winner shortly afterwards.

While much of the attention was focused on Nani's sending off, Mourinho preferred to salute the efforts of his opponents.

"Independent of the decision, the best team lost. We didn't play well, we didn't deserve to win but football is like this,'' the Portuguese told ITV1 in a brief interview.

"I'm not speaking about the decision because I'm not sure about it.'' When pressed further, Mourinho quickly added: "But independent of that the best team lost.''

The Real Madrid manager later told Sky Sports: "At 11 v 11, I doubt we could have won the match. I'm frustrated because we played amazingly well against Barcelona. Today I was waiting for more. I was waiting for us to play in a different way."

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