Manchester United’s big concerns for last night were Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Carlos Tevez, who were all one yellow card away from missing out on the European Cup final, should we make it.
At 3-0 up, I was massively relieved to see Rooney and Evra taken off, and didn’t consider for one moment that any of our players could get a straight red now.
On first viewing it looked like a brilliant tackle from Darren Fletcher on Cesc Fabregas and the replay confirmed it. That didn’t stop Fletcher getting his marching orders and United conceding a penalty.
The only positive spin on the situation is that at least it wasn’t Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic, who could have been in Fletcher’s position, but it is still gutting.
Rooney, Evra and Michael Carrick have offered their sympathies to Fletcher.
“I thought it was harsh to be honest. In that situation he seems to have got the ball. I was behind him and the ball changed direction. In this situation, the semi-final of the Champions League, the possibility of missing a final it’s not fair really.”
“It is a massive game to miss out on. I think over the last two seasons he has been brilliant for us and if anyone deserves to be there and play it is him.”
“I am so sorry for Darren Fletcher. The real big bad news about all this is Darren not being able to play in Rome. I am very, very frustrated and disappointed for him and his family. I played with a lot of pain in my stomach worrying about missing the final. I said to the boss, ‘if we score a third goal I want to come off because I just cannot miss that match’. It was a real fear for me. In the hotel before the game and during the previous week I was thinking about that yellow card. I believed United would get to the final but I wasn’t sure I would. It was very painful to play with that on your mind.”
“I am tremendously disappointed for Darren. He has played in most of the games and now he cannot play in the final. He deserves to – but that is football.”