Conceding Real Madrid CF "didn't play well", José Mourinho also hailed substitute Luka Modrić's influence in the Merengues' 2-1 second-leg win at Manchester United FC.
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José Mourinho, Madrid coach
Of course we are happy to have qualified, but I expected more from my team. We didn't play well. We took advantage of the ten to 15 minutes after their sending-off. The first half ended scoreless and it was a very tactical game until that point with both sides giving their all. When Luka Modrić came on I felt he changed the dynamic of the game in midfield.
Having said that, we suffered until the end; United were physically very strong. We suffered too much while they had ten men and the fact that our goalkeeper Diego López was our best player in that time says it all. When your keeper is your best player with a numerical advantage it shows you are not controlling the game as you should. Our midfield was filled with players during the later stages, yet we didn't control the match.
Mike Phelan, United assistant manager
We're extremely disappointed. Everybody was sat in the dressing room there wondering what had happened and why it happened. It's a very distraught dressing room and a very distraught manager – that's why I'm sat here now.
We felt we had the tactics right, we were comfortable at 0-0 in the first half. We came out and scored a goal which put us in a commanding position. After that we were in reasonable control and created a couple of chances, but then the game totally changed. Playing Madrid with ten men is very difficult.
This evening everybody has witnessed Ryan Giggs make his 1,000th appearance, which is magnificent. The decision was tactical, regarding Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa. In that dressing room everyone was prepared to play, everyone was fit, everyone was capable of playing in that game. Big decisions have to be made and the manager made those calls. Tonight we had the balance just right.
Disappointment in football is a part of the game. For us as a football club, we've been here before and we shall bring the players together again, possibly Thursday, and we'll have a look at certain things. We will kick on now, it's very important we finish the season well. We're in the FA Cup and we also have a great opportunity in the league. I'm sure that will drive the players on to achieve something.