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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Van Gaal praises Robben, Ferguson angry over red card

Van Gaal praises Robben, Ferguson angry over red card

April 08, 2010 11:28 IST

RafaelBayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal praised Arjen Robben for his stunning goal that took his side into the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday, and left Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson fuming.

Dutchman Robben's rocket-like volley from the edge of the box on 74 minutes brought the score on the night back to 3-2 and 4-4 on aggregate, which was enough to see Bayern qualify on the away goals rule.

"The goal from Robben was unbelievable," said van Gaal.

"The first half wasn't very good and we had to improve. It's incredible what we did in the second half -- we played fantastically.

"It's not always easy to play against 10 men. We played like a great team," he added.

Ferguson accused Bayern of getting defender Rafael sent off early in the second half and said that if that had not have happened, United would have gone through.

"The key point in the game was red card. No doubt about it," he told ITV.

"They would never have got through if we'd had 11 on the field. Young boy, bit of inexperience. They got him sent off. Everyone sprinted towards the referee -- typical Germans. You cannot dispute that, they are like that.  

"Our problem was they had the extra man, they made the ball work. I thought we defended very well. It took an excpetional goal to end the tie really. It was a tremendous hit by Robben," he added.

He also praised his team's performance despite their exit, which ended their hopes of a third successive final.

"I think we have performed very well. Our performance today was excellent. It was a great performance. We were very, very unlucky," Ferguson said.

United raced into a 3-0 lead and a 4-2 lead overall before Bayern replied with a goal before halftime from Ivica Olic and then Robben's clincher.

The Dutchman told German TV: "When we were behind 3-0 I thought it was going to be a very difficult evening. But 3-0 was the same as 2-0. We had to score a goal.

"The goal from Olic gave us faith that we could still advance. We have to be honest. They were the better team at the start, with the atmosphere.

"I saw that Franck (Ribery) saw me at the corner. I knew the ball would come across to me. I tried to stay calm. You can use force or technique. I tried to use technique. It worked out," Robben added.

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