A Night Fergie Will Never Forget!
While CNN, BBC, and other news websites were awash with the depressing news that Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, had passed on, Manchester United gaffer, Sir Alex Ferguson had more devastating pains to attend to. It was a night when controversy returned to football, and instead of action on the pitch being the deliberation of pundits, officiating once again took centre stage. Whether Nani' challenge was a deserving red card is a debate that will outrun Usain Bolt. However, if the rules are to followed to the latter, the referee could be slightly vindicated. However, given the magnitude of the spectacle, you expect officials to be more 'certain' before opting for pivotal decisions. However, one should mention that referees, unlike the millions of arm chair critics around the world, does not have the luxury of hindsight or replays. Perhaps, conspiracy theorist will remember that this was the same referee that sent off John Terry against Barca last season. Whatever the analysis, United fell too easily after the red card. We know that Madrid is not just any team, but we have seen teams win big matches with a man down. Especially, when one considers that they were one nil up. Having said that, United should take solace in the fighting spirit they displayed at the closing stages. It is interesting to state here that there is something ironic about United moaning about officials. Even Fergie won't deny that they have been benefactors of officiating shenanigans in the past. In all, kudos should go to Jose Mourinho and his Real Madrid side. Despite the red card, they still had a job to do, and they did in clinical fashion. They will now be fancied as firm favourite for the trophy. Finally, it is a night Sir Alex will always ruin. A night that was decided in split seconds. Many believed he shouldn't have dropped Wayne Rooney out of the starting line up, but all those punditry will count for nothing. This could well be the Scot's last chance of tasting European glory. Maybe, a missed opportunity he will never forget. He now has to look to the League and FA Cup for some domestic success reprieve. Again, Jose has the last laugh in what has been an incredible ten days for him. A double win against Barca followed by a Champions league triumph against Man U at Old Trafford is pure footballing fantasy. It is a night he reminded us all, that he was still special!