Sir Alex Ferguson’s clear disdain for ‘typical Germans’ after agonizing Man Utd loss

THIS DAY: Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United suffered a crushing – and controversial – exit from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich 12 years ago today

Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United are eliminated from the Champions League with a painful away defeat to Bayern Munich

Sir Alex Ferguson reached for a bitter sneer as his anger boiled over him Manchester United ‘s elimination from the Champions League On this day in 2010.

The legendary Scot was aiming for his third triumph in the competition after United narrowly failed to retain their 2008 crown and lose the 2009 final a season earlier Barcelona. They started their European conquest in a dominant manner, leading Group B before defeating AC Milan with an aggregate result of 7-2 in the last 16.

United was then played against a draw Bayern Munich Before the next round, Ferguson faces off against the old foe he defeated in the famous 1999 final. However, the Bundesliga giants had the last laugh on this occasion after two hard-fought stages in late March and early April.

United traveled to the Allianz Arena for the first clash and emerged victorious from a 2-1 defeat, leaving them up for a tough battle. Wayne Rooney scored just over a minute into the first leg but Franck Ribery and Ivica Olic completed Bayern’s turnaround to give them a slight advantage and set up a blockbuster showdown at Old Trafford.

Once again, the Red Devils stormed from the blocks as Darron Gibson pulled in a fine shot from distance to level the aggregate and Nani delivered a superb shot to put the hosts ahead. The Portuguese winger added his second of the game with a strong finish from Rooney’s pass to give United a commanding lead only just before the break was Olic able to regain one for the visitors.

The United stars trotted through the tunnel knowing their 4-3 aggregate lead was dangerous as Bayern would claim victory on away goals if they scored another goal. However, United could take many positives from their dominant performance in the first half and they would have been confident of finishing the game with the experienced centre-back Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Nani’s goals gave Manchester United the overall lead at half-time


Manchester United via Getty Images)

That confidence waned just five minutes into the second minute when Rafael received a second yellow card for withdrawing Ribery as the French striker tried to break through United’s defence. The then just 19-year-old Brazilian defender had been cautioned in the first half for a vigorous tackle on Mark van Bommel and Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli gave him the marching orders.

Ribéry led the protests of a shrewd Bayern side – which also included the likes of Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger – ahead of the second yellow card in what proved to be a turning point in the game. United lasted 24 minutes with 10 men before Robben scored a great volley straight from a corner to make it 4-4 aggregate and send Bayern through to the semi-finals on away goals.

A convincing football game was followed by fireworks in the post-game press conferences as Ferguson accused opposing players of influencing Rizzoli in no uncertain terms. “The boy showed a bit of inexperience,” he said of Rafael. “But they sent him off, everyone ran towards the referee – typical Germans.”

Did Rafael deserve a second yellow card? Share your opinion in the comments…

Bayern Munich players raved about Nicola Rizzoli after he blew his whistle


(Getty Images)

Ferguson was quite mortified by the way Bayern played as he had no doubt his side would have reached the semi-finals with 11 men on the pitch. “They never got through that tie, with 11 men we didn’t have a problem,” Ferguson said, adding, “It was typical professionalism in a way, but they saw the opportunity and almost forced the referee to pull the card out.

“The referee didn’t want to do anything. But we’ve seen that from teams like this before. The Bayern players sent him off, there’s no doubt about that. It was just a little tug on the boy 35 yards from the goal, they’re closed not even dangerous at this point.

“[Rafael’s] inexperienced and sometimes this is how inexperience can show. But he did a wonderful job, the boy, and it’s a tragedy for him. But I think we were very unlucky tonight.”

Rafael was shown two yellow cards to leave Manchester United a man down


(Getty Images)

The Bayern coach at the time, Louis van Gaal, emphatically hit Ferguson back in his own thoughts after the game, accusing his opponent of foul play. The Dutchman said: “I thought England were a fair play country and I don’t think that’s fair.

“I don’t share Sir Alex’s opinion. Part of being a player is being in control. Every player needs to know if you get a yellow card, a second means you’re sent off. I definitely think it’s a It was a yellow card offense and that’s it.” up to the player.

“Did the red card change the game? We’ll never know. That’s easy to say after a loss. I don’t think this game should be played again.” [Ferguson] is just disappointed.”

Louis van Gaal and Sir Alex Ferguson saw the sending off incident differently


AFP via Getty Images)

After progressing to the quarter-finals, Bayern had no trouble beating Lyon and beating the French club 4-0 on aggregate to stage a showdown with Inter Milan at the Santiago Bernabeu. In the end, they lost 2-0 to Jose Mourinho’s side, but the season was a resounding success thanks to successes in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal.

United, meanwhile, retained the League Cup but failed to defend it First League as Chelsea won the title by a point. They returned rejuvenated in the 2010/11 season but failed again in the Champions League against Barcelona in Ferguson’s last European Cup final.

The football icon ended his managerial career in 2013 after failing to get past the last 16 of the competition in his last two seasons at Old Trafford. In the nine years since Ferguson’s departure, United have not progressed past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, even though they won the Europa League under Mourinho in 2017.

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