United midfielder speaking after controversial loss to Spanish giants.
Veteran Wales winger Ryan Giggs has described Luis Nani’s dismissal against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night as the most shocking moment of his entire Manchester United career.
United winger Nani was sent off for a mid-air challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa early in the second half at Old Trafford on Tuesday and Real took full advantage, scoring twice to win the last 16 tie.
Giggs, who was playing his 1,000th career match, couldn’t believe Cuneyt Cakir would take strong action for what the Welshman believed was an accidental collision, so he was stunned when he saw the Turkish referee show a red card.
“I’d initially gone over to tell him Nani was looking at the ball,” Giggs said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday. “I’ve gone back to my position on the edge of the box, because they’ve got a free-kick.
“I was actually looking at the referee when he did it (showed the red card). I’ve never, ever experienced a shock like it on a football pitch because I just didn’t expect it. And I’ve never seen a stadium in shock like that.”
Real boss Jose Mourinho brought on Luka Modric to help his team make the most of their numerical superiority and Giggs, 39, admits it proved an inspired move.
Former Tottenham midfielder Modric bagged the equaliser with a fine individual effort in the 66th minute and ex United star Cristiano Ronaldo completed the comeback moments later.
“The only thing I could think was, ‘right, let’s try and stay compact. Let’s try and ride it out’,” Giggs said.
“I think we did that. But you can’t really say anything about the goal; it was brilliant by Luka Modric.
“There’s not a lot you can do, going down to 10 men. Carra (Michael Carrick) was in the back four and he had to come out to Modric, close him down, whereas if we’d had 11, he would have been there probably.
“Take nothing away from Modric, it was a great goal.”