Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini denied his team set out to target Cristiano Ronaldo in their Champions League stalemate at home to Manchester United.
The Portugal winger was tightly marked, and Joan Capdevila was sent off with seven minutes remaining for a high challenge on him in last night's 0-0 draw.
However, Pellegrini countered: "It was not a rough game, and you have to challenge Ronaldo."
Sir Alex Ferguson was pleased with the way Italian referee Roberto Rosetti handled a match in which both teams confirmed their place in the next stage.
The United manager claimed Ronaldo gets better protection in Europe than on the domestic scene.
Ferguson said: "The systematic fouling on him is what is happening in our game now. That is a tactic.
"Someone fouls him, then someone else has another foul.
"The referee thinks he is diving all the time, and the crowd are screaming. So that is the problem.
"The referee was very fair and strict with both teams. He [Capdevila] may not have got that red card in England - so there is different interpretation of the physical aspect of the game in European matches."
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