MANCHESTER: Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho thought Manchester United were the better team on the night at Old Trafford . . . but may still be satisfied that they proved the better over both legs of the Champions League second round tie.

Madrid hit back from a goal down to win 2-1 win and 3-2 on aggregate after United had Portugal winger Nani sent off for a reckless kick on Albaro Arbeloa.

Mourinho said: “Independent of the decision, the best team lost. We didn’t play well, we didn’t deserve to win but football is like this. I’m not speaking about the decision because I’m not sure about it.”

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson flouted UEFA rules by not attending the post-match press confederation. Assistant Mike Phelan said Ferguson was “too distraught to speak.”

Ferguson also ordered his players to answer questions about the game in which victory would have lifted them closer to a Champions League final on ‘home’ ground at Wembley in May.