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Man United elicit Mourinho sympathy

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho expressed sympathy with Manchester United counterpart Alex Ferguson after the Spanish side’s controversial victory in the Champions League last 16.

Ferguson shirked his media responsibilities after the match, while the home side’s players walked through the mixed zone without speaking to waiting reporters.

Mourinho said United could have ‘no complaints’ about Arbeloa’s reaction to the challenge, but said he had experienced a similar situation in 2011, when Pepe was sent off in a Champions League semi-final loss to Barcelona.

‘(Nani’s dismissal) had the same influence as the decision two years ago to send Pepe off in the semi-final,’ he said.

 ‘At this level, there’s such a fine balance between such equally matched teams. Playing with one man down for such a long period is going to change a lot in the game.’

Ferguson unexpectedly omitted Wayne Rooney from his starting line-up but Mourinho felt the home side’s tactical set-up had been cleverly devised.

‘Sir Alex Ferguson has won the right (to pick his team) over the years,’ he said. ‘Every decision is correct and every decision should never have a question mark in front. He’s the best, he’s the top, he’s created an incredible history. ‘We couldn’t control the game with possession, which frustrated me, and in that moment we had Diego Lopez who gave us victory,’ he said.   
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