It took a highly controversial refereeing decision to deny Manchester United a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
With the Red Devils a goal ahead and in control of their second-leg tie with Real Madrid, Portuguese winger Nani was deemed to have deliberately raised his foot on a high challenge and subsequently shown a straight red card.
A Sergio Ramos own goal had given Sir Alex Ferguson's side a deserved lead in the first half before two quick-fire strikes from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo in the second period put the game to bed.
Here are the player ratings for United on a night fans of the club would sooner wish to forget.
David de Gea: 7
Was fairly inactive for most of the game, but when called upon was a safe pair of gloves until the game turned.
Was helpless in the face of Real's goals, overwhelmed by the flood of pressure.
Made a determined goal-line clearance to deny Gonzalo Higuain on the hour mark, typifying a hard-fought display.
Possibly caught out at his post by Ronaldo for Real's second goal, but such blame is only minor.
Nemanja Vidic: 7
A powerful presence on the pitch, unlucky to see a first-half header cannon back of the foot of Diego Lopez's post.
The Serbian's return to the United first team has coincided with a return to form for the Red Devils defence.
Rio Ferdinand: 7
Was an experienced head at the back, but left helpless following Nani's red card and the ensuing Real attack.
Like so many of his teammates, it would be difficult to criticise the English veteran for the way the game unfolded.
Patrice Evra: 6
Picked up an early yellow card, which perhaps prevented him from being as involved as he would have liked.
Was caught out of position several times on his left flank, unable to keep up with his supremely talented opponents.
Michael Carrick: 7
Controlled the midfield with a consummate ease in the first half, but was left exposed following Nani's red.
There's a reason he is Sir Alex's most trusted player and the first name on the United team sheet.
Tom Cleverley: 7
Displayed outstanding poise alongside Carrick in midfield, never looking awed by the occasion or his opponents.
Was withdrawn for Wayne Rooney after Real's second, though not for any fault of his.
Ryan Giggs: 8
Making his 1000th career appearance, the 39-year-old was the best player on the pitch during the first half.
Many suggested before the game that he no longer had the legs to compete in such a high-profile clash. Not the case.
Was a tremendous attacking influence, displaying a speed and touch that he had been missing during the first half of the season.
Forced Ramos' own goal with a wonderful turn and cross. Received a completely undeserved red card for a high foot.
Danny Welbeck: 7
Had a decent game, impressing with his close control and ability to stretch the Real defence with some marauding runs.
The English forward could have easily had a first-half brace, but is yet to develop the clinical finishing that would make him an automatic starter at Old Trafford.
Robin van Persie: 6
Not quite the attacking threat fans of the Red Devils would have liked, but his touch was improved following some disappointing games in the past few weeks.
Could have scored a late equaliser, but like many of his teammates, was foiled by the excellent Diego Lopez.
Wayne Rooney: 7
Almost made a big difference when introduced to the game with less than 20 minutes remaining. Fans will debate whether or not he should have been in the starting XI for years to come.
Ashley Young: 6
Worked hard on the right wing, but didn't have much of an impact overall.
Antonio Valencia: N/A
Who impressed you the most for United?