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Keane: 'The referee made the right call and Nani's not the bravest boy on the planet'

The former Manchester United captain had his say on the game’s main talking point after the final whistle.

Keane on ITV.
Keane on ITV.
Image: Screengrab

FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED captain Roy Keane backed Cuneyt Cakir’s decision to send Manchester United winger Nani off in tonight’s Champions League last 16 second leg.

The home side held a narrow 1-0 lead over their opponents when the Turkish referee brandished a straight red to Nani for a high boot on Alvaro Arbeloa in the 56th minute.

With the advantage of an extra man and buoyed by the introduction of Luka Modric, Madrid turned the game on its head – recording a 2-1 victory on the night (3-2 on aggregate) to progress to the quarter-finals.

Alex Ferguson was livid after the decision and did not appear out to be interviewed post-match after what was deemed by many as an extremely harsh call.

However, speaking on the ITV panel this evening, Keane claimed the red was deserved.

“It doesn’t matter if he knows there’s somebody there or not, it’s irrelevant,” Keane said. “I don’t think the referee made the decision because he waited a couple of minutes while the player was getting treatment so I think it might have been the assistant who made the decision. I actually think he’s made the right call.

“We can be critical of the referee, we’re always say referees are quick to make a decision [but] he waited a couple of minutes, no doubt spoke to assistant and said ‘listen we think it’s dangerous’. It’s a red card. ”

Fellow analyst Gareth Southgate argued Nani’s corner, saying he only had eyes for the ball and unintentionally caught the former Liverpool man – but Keane wasn’t having it.

You’re saying he wasn’t aware of the player – you have to be aware of other footballers on the pitch. Does he think he’s going to have 20 yards to himself?

“Whether it’s brave or not, it was the right decision. And listen, Nani’s a quick boy to go down anyway – he’s not the bravest boy on the planet.

“Any time I was sent off in my career I always thought ‘did I give the referee a chance to send me off?’. If the answer is yeah then it’s out of your hands and I think the referee has made the right call.

“Everyone’s upset about it and they’re slightly unlucky but it’s dangerous play.”

Watch a clip below:

YouTube credit: Beanyman62Sports

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Ben Blake

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