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Was This Challenge By Manchester United’s Luis Nani Worth A Red Card?

Manchester United currently trails Real Madrid 2-1 in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinals matchup and 3-2 in the aggregate, falling victim to a Luka Modric long-distance rocket and a Cristiano Ronaldo tap-in in the second half of the match. But moments before the goals, all the momentum had already swung Real Madrid’s way after Sergio Ramos’ own goal seemed to kill all hope: in the 59th minute, United’s Luis Nani stuck out his foot to poke a loose ball, but instead clipped Madrid’s Álvaro Arbeloa in the ribs. Arbeloa rolled over to dramatize the incident, and Nani went down hurt as well. After medical personnel tended to Nani for his injury, referee Cüneyt Cakir handed out a devastating and questionable red card, which had Gus Johnson and the entire crowd at Old Trafford up in arms. Shortly thereafter, Real took over with sucessive goals.

So, we ask: was this a legitimate red card? Probably not. Undoubtedly, this will be the play everyone talks about should Real Madrid move on – which seems likely, given that United needs two goals in the final 10 minutes to overcome Madrid’s away goals advantage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tone.zbegn Tone Zbegn

    I mean the player in red committed a foul. Yellow at most.

  • Alexander

    It’s Manchester United fault why bring out Valencia and Not Chicharito!??? That’s so dumb!!! I’m glad they lost…. Couldn’t play him both games??? That’s just stupid!

  • Barry

    It’ dangerous play . Foot up high.. right decision….Did Nani expect to have that much space with nobody around him with that ball up in the air like that????

  • Michelle Zehn

    “Arbeloa rolled over to dramatize the incident, and Nani went down hurt as well” wow biased much? the player KICKED rolls over and is called dramatic but the player who did the kicking just goes down hurt? and yes it was a “legitimate” red card, nani shouldn’t have kicked so high. regardless of if he saw arbeloa or not, kicking that high puts other players in danger so the red card was harsh but not a bad call by the ref.a

  • Michelle Zehn

    exactly my argument!

  • Feshy

    Dangerous play deserves a YELLOW not a red card

  • Anonymous

    It was a dangerous play which was penalized correctly. Arbeloa came in jumping up to chest the ball. Had he instead decided to stay on the ground and go for a header, that cleat would have ended up in his face. I bet Dylan would agree with the red card then.

    The red card was more than warranted.

    Oh, and Ramos didn’t “clip” Arbeloa. He “Chuck Norris”ed his ribcage.

    Just because Arbeloa wasn’t hurt does not take away the seriousness of the play. You see this in American football as well, just because a player didn’t get hurt, people will think no serious foul was committed, and if one was called, then, they got ripped off. It’s a sad disconnect people make all the time.

  • NoChicharito??

    A yellow card at most i agree. Bottom line is nanis ejection changed the course of the game! Why did chicharito not play after the ejection? I can bet money that chich will b out by next season and a smarter team manager will pick him up and utilize him properly.

  • Dick

    That could have ended much worse than that. Right call

  • STFU

    The madrid player was looking ahead, nani had his back to the player, it was a high boot alright but it wasn’t intentional and the situation became worse after the theatricals of madrid’s player. and it wasn’t as dangerous as it was made out to be. nani wasn’t moving or carrying momentum with the high boot, it was arbeloa who was rushing in. Yellow at best.

  • STFU

    americans are idiots they play football with hands

  • den

    Completely agree. Murphy’s obviously a Man U fan. If this was Manutd.com I’d let him away with it. Red was harsh, but the ref must have though Nani knew what he was doing. I’d say he decided to give him red while he was wasting his time pretending that kicking someone in the ribs injured him. He probably thought that Nani was thinking “I’ll stay down long enough and maybe he won’t give me the yellow”. In yo face Nani!

  • Anonymous

    Red not deserved. No intent, no malice, the dude was trying to play the ball out of the air and the Real player initiated the contact. Nani couldn’t see him until the last second.

    Yellow at best like others have said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monica.lindo.98 Monica Lindo

    nani went down because you can clearly see the impact if his knee hitting his chest the speed of the event would have caused some pain to nan, and the “kicked so high” so he could stop and control the ball he was not putting other peoples life at risk he was doin what any other player would have done if put in the same position if you dont go for the ball you look like an idiot infront of the fans and he would get an earfull from the manager…..and the replay shows the referee was in a good position to watch the entire thing so he would have known nani set himself the target of getting the ball nothing more which is why the referee should have let him off with a yellow at least because now that red card possibly cost united the match

  • nana ksa

    I’m from Saudi Arabia
    Very sad to expel Nani
    Nani was one of the most important players of Manchester in this Christian game
    I repeat that Manchester has always greatly injustice

  • George A.

    “Arbeloa rolled over to dramatize the incident, and Nani went down hurt as well”

    Are you serious? I guess it was Arbeloa who hit Nani using his chest. Red card for Arbeloa then.

    Nani knew what he had done and pretended to be hurt trying to avoid punishment. Good try.

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