Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United were better than his team during Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
United attacker Nani was controversially sent off in the second half for a high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa, with Real going on to score twice after that decision.
The Red Devils had taken the lead shortly after half-time when Sergio Ramos deflected Nani’s cross past his own goalkeeper, before the same United player was shown a straight red card by referee Cuneyt Cakir.
Real overturned United’s lead following Nani’s dismissal as Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo scored in quick succession but their coach said after the game that they were fortunate to triumph.
“Independent of the red card decision, the best team lost,” Mourinho told ITV after the final whistle.
“We are happy to have qualified but I expected more.
“When your keeper is your best player it shows you are not controlling the game as you should.
“We didn’t play well, but football is like this.”
Mourinho told Sky Sports that after his team’s recent performances against Barcelona he was disappointed that they failed to put in a similar showing against United.
“I was waiting for my team to come here and to express our football in a different way,” he said.
“I know they (United) are giants, not just physically, but mentally.
“I know they are fantastic, I know they have a manager who can motivate people and organise people, but I was waiting for us to come here and play a different way.”
When asked about the next round and who he thought might win the competition, he said: “We’ve removed a big one, but the Champions League is full of good teams.
“Nobody speaks about Dortmund, I played them in the group phase, they are fantastic.
“Nobody talks about Celtic, from Milan-Barca a big team will come too, I don’t know, Paris, Valencia, Bayern. There are so many teams, so many obstacles, but this one was important, particularly after the first leg.”
The former Chelsea boss also spoke of his pleasure at being back in England, if only for a short time.
“I love it, everybody knows I love it, and everybody knows that someday I will be back, unless nobody wants me,” he said.
“Independent of the result, it’s brilliant to play here.”
The draw for the quarter-finals will take place in Nyon on March 15.