Did Manchester United’s Nani Deserve Red Card For Karate Kicking Real Madrid’s Alvaro Arbeloa? [POLL]
Yesterday's match between Manchester United and Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 was looking to be in United's hands, with them holding a 1-0 lead and just needing to hold Real Madrid scoreless for the final 40 minutes to move onto the quarterfinals. However, a controversial red card on Nani of Manchester United after a karate-style kick shifted the landscape of the game dramatically, and led to a Real Madrid comeback win.
The play has been debated on both sides, mostly by fans of United and the throngs of people that dislike them but, objectively there are legitimate points on both sides of the argument.
For those that think Nani shouldn't have been sent off for his high kick on Alvaro Arbeloa, while you have no way of proving the intent of any player on the field, you can point to the similar high kick from Nigel De Jong in the 2010 World Cup final on Spain's Xabi Alonso, which only received a yellow card. A precedent of sorts had been set with high kicks like that when De Jong only received a yellow for his foul, which made this call somewhat puzzling.
However, those that believe he should have been given a red card can point at the fact that precedents don't matter when players are getting kicked in the chest with the spiked part of a player's cleats. It's an incredibly unsafe play and something that needs to be punished to prevent players from thinking that high kicks like Nani's are acceptable.
Red card supporters can also argue that Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson has a way of influencing officials, and that had almost any other club received such a call, nobody would even bat an eye.
So what do you think, was Nani's red card justified? Take our poll below.