Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson Smart to Stay Away from Press After CL Loss

Stefan GouyetAnalyst IMarch 7, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson reacts after Nani of Manchester United is sent off during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second leg match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5, 2013 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Did Nani deserve to get sent off? Most people would agree that he did not. His boot was raised and he did make contact with Alvaro Arbeloa, but a red card was very harsh.

Even as a Chelsea fan, I have to feel sorry for Manchester United. They have been the best English team by far this season and can certainly make a case for being the top side in all of Europe. Cüneyt Çakır simply made the wrong decision when he gave Nani a red card, and that decision completely changed the game.

Manchester United were the better side for most of the match, and I would expect them to have won if it weren't for the sending off. You could tell that even Real Madrid were sympathetic to their opponents, with Jose Mourinho stating, "the best team lost."

However, I thought Sir Alex Ferguson's reactions were more interesting than Mourinho's. The Scotsman is one of the most respected managers in the world, but he is known for his controversies as well as his successes.

Recently, Ferguson has gotten into trouble with the English FA for his criticism of referees. Since December 2007, he has received four touchline bans in the English Premier League, including a five-match ban in March 2011.

Ferguson usually does not hold back when angry at the officials. But, on Tuesday, it was different. He showed some frustration right after the red card, but at the end of the game, he left his seat and went home.

While UEFA has seen Ferguson's post-match press snub as unlawful, I think the manager made a smart decision in staying away from the media.

I expected the 71-year-old coach to speak to Cüneyt Çakır for a while after the game and then proceed to denounce the referee at the post-match press conference. 

Instead, Sir Alex Ferguson was wise and left Old Trafford without making a scene. He knew that if he spoke to the press, he would probably say something that he would later regret.

It's always disappointing to see a referee alter the course of a game with an incorrect decision. Real Madrid might have won the game without Nani's red card, but Cüneyt Çakır's error made life much easier for the Spanish side. 

It'll be interesting to see how UEFA deals with Sir Alex Ferguson, but, in the end, it was smart for the manager to stay away from the press.