Real Madrid defender Ricardo Carvalho has admitted that Peter Crouch’s record-breaking first-half red card was “unfair” on Tottenham.
Crouch’s 15th-minute dismissal was the fastest in Champions League history for two yellow cards and centre-back Carvalho believed referee Felix Brych could have been more lenient.
The Spurs forward’s first booking came in the eighth minute for sliding in recklessly on Sergio Ramos and the second came seven minutes later for hurling himself at Marcelo.
“I don’t know if Peter Crouch should have been sent off,” Carvalho said afterwards. “The first one was a yellow card. The second one? I don’t know. Maybe the second one was unlucky for him and unfair for his team-mates.”
Real benefited from Crouch’s recklessness to take command of the tie and will go to White Hart Lane next week with a four-goal advantage.
“To be top [in this tie] and go through is important for us,” said Carvalho. “If you are a serious team and play at the top level it is difficult for Tottenham to beat us and for us not to go through.
“At the end of the game Jose Mourinho didn’t speak to the players. I went straight into the shower. Of course he is happy. At the end of the game we didn’t concede a goal.”
Carvalho hailed Real’s display as a “good performance” but admitted that they were thrown by Crouch’s dismissal after flying out of the starting blocks with the first of Emmanuel Adebayor’s two goals in the fourth minute.
“We started well, of course, and had one more player,” said the former Chelsea man. “In the first half we didn’t play as well but we scored the early goal. In the second half we controlled the game.
“The problem in the first half was that after they sent off Peter Crouch, we sort of think, ‘the game will be easier’. You should play better but we spoke at half-time that sometimes it goes like that with one player less [for the opposition]. We needed a second goal and once we got that we were on top.”