A red card to winger Nani in the 56th minute of Tuesday's Champions League match against Real Madrid appears to have been a game changer for Manchester United.
United held a 1-0 lead when Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir gave a red card to the winger, who had stretched his leg trying to control the ball but caught Madrid's Alvaro Arbeloa in the chest with the studs of his right shoe.
Madrid went on to score two quick goals for a 2-1 victory and advanced to the quarterfinals, 3-2, on aggregate.
UEFA declined comment on the controversial call Wednesday, which is when the European body usually would respond to questions about its referees.
According to FIFA's laws of soccer, a player must use "excessive force" in order to receive a red card, as opposed to simply acting in a "reckless manner," which would draw only a yellow card.