Bayern Munich surprised by Ribery red card
Bayern Munich officials and players have spoken of their surprise at referee Roberto Rosetti's decision to send off Franck Ribery during the Bavarians' 1-0 win over Lyon in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
UEFA will decide next Wednesday whether Ribery will face any more than the automatic one-game ban for his red card and although chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was disappointed with the referee's decision, he believes his side have given themselves every chance of playing at the Bernabeu.
"I have to pay a compliment to the team - we really deserved it,'' he said. "We now have decent chance of reaching the final. Our aim will be to go to Lyon to score a goal because then they would have to score three and that would be difficult for them.
"It's unfortunate that the referee gave a red card. But we cannot change it and we have got to accept it and hope that UEFA are not too harsh on him so that he could be in final and that the ban reflects the incident.''
Bayern's director of sport Christian Nerlinger admitted he was "shocked'' at the decision.
"I have seen it again on TV and maybe you can give him a yellow card,'' he said. "We hope he is treated like it was a yellow card. I was very shocked, but the referee has taken this decision and we are not going to criticise him.''
While Bayern coach Louis van Gaal said: ''He didn't lunge at him with his leg,'' said ''It is a harsh red card, but you can give it. Franck gave the referee the chance to send him off by standing on his foot for longer than necessary. I hope he only gets banned for one match.''
Some of Bayern's stars expressed how they were dumbfounded by Rosetti's decision to reduce the home side to 10 men in the first half.
"Nobody expected him to show red,'' Thomas Muller said, who insisted he had got his "hair'' to Arjen Robben's shot to deflect it past Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for the decisive goal.
"I didn't go to the hairdresser this week when I was meant to do and maybe it was a good job I didn't,'' he joked. "We have shown that we can beat Lyon. If we can beat them at home, then we can also beat them away. We have great morale levels.''
Despite Muller's claim the goal looks likely to go down as Robben's, with the Dutchman adding to the goals he scored against Fiorentina in the first knockout stage and Manchester United in the quarter-finals on his way to 20 goals in all competitions since his summer move from Real Madrid.
"We are delighted to have him and nobody expected he would score so many goals,'' beamed Rummenigge.
Lyon also ended the game with 10 men when Jeremy Toulalan picked up two yellow cards in just three minutes in the second half and that could well have been the turning point, according to their coach Claude Puel.
"We knew that the referee would punish us for the slightest of mistakes and that happened with Toulalan,'' he said. "It's a shame we could not keep our numerical superiority for longer.
"With 10 men each, we had to run a lot, but we were unable to maintain possession in attack. Even if the result is not in our favour, the tie is still open and it will be decided in the second leg.''