was contact, but that's the nature of football and to get a red card seems unbelievable.”
It detracted from a fantastically plotted, well-executed United performance. “We knew we had to apply certain tactics to the game,” explained Phelan. “We went over to Madrid and we did a very good job. We got the result that we were looking for, we scored the away goal. We felt that if we could keep things tight, frustrate Madrid and play a little bit on the counter-attack ourselves, then we'll get chances.
“I think that showed tonight - we did get chances. We didn't convert as many as we should have done but in that one moment when you score the goal, you feel as though the crowd is right behind you, they can see the finishing line. The players sensed they were in control and then it drifted away.”
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