Man United 1 Real Madrid 2: We were at our best after red card – Xabi Alonso
Man United 1 Real Madrid 2: Xabi Alonso admits Jose Mourinho's side were only at their best after Nani's 58th-minute red card
Xabi Alonso admitted Real Madrid were only at their best after Nani’s sending off as Jose Mourinho’s men booked their place in Champions League last eight in controversial fashion.
The Red Devils took a deserved lead in the 48th minute when Sergio Ramos put the ball past his own goalkeeper to leave Sir Alex Ferguson’s side 2-1 ahead on aggregate.
But United lost their momentum following Nani’s red card for a high tackle on former Liverpool defender Álvaro Arbeloa in the 56th minute.
Substitute Luka Modrić ensured the visitors capitalised on the man advantage, with the Croatian’s venomous shot beating United’s Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea.
Former Red Devils forward Cristiano Ronaldo then completed the turnaround when he scored the winner in the 68th minute, but Alonso admitted Nani was unlucky to receive his marching orders.
“It was a difficult decision to take from the referee, but we have seen in many previous games that it can be harder playing against 10-men. We produced our best minutes after the sending off,” told Sky Sports.
“After that, United pushed really hard and it was difficult not to concede and our goalkeeper was fantastic.
“We knew it was a key week for us, we were fighting, it was make or break. It has gone fantastically.”