Nani red card: Roy Keane took on Gareth Southgate after Man Utd 1-2 Real Madrid in 2013

  • Kobe Tong

Manchester United fans will never get over Nani's infamous red card against Real Madrid in 2013.

That's not a criticism, by the way, because it certainly was a shame to see Sir Alex Fergusons's Champions League career ending in such unfortunate and unlucky circumstances.

With the Red Devils having taken a draw and away goal from the opening leg of their round of 16 clash at the Bernabeu, it was in their hands to overcome Jose Mourinho's side at Old Trafford.

Nani's infamous red card

However, the decision of Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir to send off Nani in the 56th minute quickly took it out of their hands despite having established the lead through a Sergio Ramos own goal.

Quick-fire strikes from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Los Blancos make the most of the man advantage, winning 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals and the rest, as they say, is history.

But the Old Trafford faithful understandably maintain bitter memories about the game with the vast majority of fans believing that the decision to dismiss Nani for a high foot was incredibly harsh.

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ITV analysis of the red card

And that was certainly the feeling amongst the ITV Sport studio during their coverage of United's defeat at the time. Well, perhaps surprisingly, with the exception of none other than Roy Keane.

Despite being a United legend with a reputation for loving tough challenges, the Irishman was one of few people in the ground that thought Nani was correctly dismissed during his punditry duties.

In a typically animated analysis, Keane went head-to-head with Gareth Southgate over whether or not people should sympathise with Nani for perhaps having been unaware of Alvaro Arbeloa.

Brentford vs Manchester United OFF (Football Terrace)

Keane goes off on one at Southgate

And while Southgate took the understanding approach that Nani was simply very unlucky, Keane came out swinging in uncompromising fashion by claiming that the United star should know better.

Per the Mirror, Keane opined: "I think the referee has actually made the right call. Everyone's upset about it and it's slightly unlucky, but it's dangerous play. Whether he meant it or not is irrelevant. 

"It's dangerous play - it's a red card. You have to be aware of other players on the pitch. Does he think he's going to have 20 yards to himself?

"Whether it's [a brave decision] or not, it's the right decision. Whether he meant it or not doesn't matter. Nani's a quick boy to go down anyway. He's not the bravest player on the planet."

Do you agree with Keane?

Were we alone in our prediction that Keane would have been angry that challenges like Nani's on Arbeloa would even be punishable in the first place?

Maybe that's just us falling into the trap of Keane's stereotyped image on social media, but there's no denying that he nailed his colours to the mast, even if it wasn't in the way that we expected.

And despite Southgate being a more than assured footballing mind himself, you could just tell that Keane wasn't backing down to anyone after an incident that remains infamous all these years later.



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