• Champions League

Keane: Nani red card was the right call

ESPN staff
March 5, 2013

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane believes referee Cuneyt Cakir "made the right call" when he sent off Nani in Tuesday night's Champions League battle with Real Madrid at Old Trafford.

Irate United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was seething with rage as the last-16 tie was transformed by the contentious decision of the Turkish official to dismiss Nani for his high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa in the 56th minute at a moment when the home side were in the ascendancy.

Following Nani's departure, United led a 1-0 lead slip to lose 2-1 on the night, but Keane had little sympathy for the banished Portuguese winger.

"The referee has made the right call," Keane told ITV Sport. "It's dangerous play, it's a red card. He knows there are other footballers on the pitch and to be fair to the referee, he took a few minutes, spoke to his assistant and decided it was a red card.

"I don't think the referee made the decision because he waited a couple of minutes while one of the players was getting treatment and I think it was the assistant that made the call. Whatever people are getting upset about it, but I think he made the right call.

"Any time I got sent off in my career, I always thought, 'Did I give the referee a chance to send me off?' If the answer is yes, then it is out of your hands. Everyone is upset about it and United are slightly unlucky to go out, but it's dangerous play. Whether he meant it or not is irrelevant. It was dangerous play, red card.

"Whether the referee was brave or not, it was the right decision. Let's not forget that Nani is quick to go down, he is not always the bravest boy."

Keane went on to praise Real Madrid match-winner Cristiano Ronaldo as "an £80 million snip" as he marked his return to Old Trafford with the goal that secured his team a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"It looked like a lot of money when Real Madrid paid £80 million for Ronaldo, but he looks like a snip now," Keane added. "What a fantastic player. He didn't have his best game against United, but he was fantastic."

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