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Red Devils’ stars hit out at Pedro and Daniel Alves for their poor sportsmanship last night and insist that Pepe should not have been sent off

Manchester United duo Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen have criticised the Barcelona players for diving too much against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

The Catalan giants defeated their arch-rivals 2-0 in the first-leg of their semi-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid’s Pepe was sent off just after the hour-mark for a challenge on Barca right-back Daniel Alves and Pep Guardiola’s team subsequently went on to score twice to take a commanding lead in the two-legged affair.

However, United defender Ferdinand and his team-mate Owen both believe that Pepe should not have been sent off and gave their opinion on their respective Twitter accounts.

"This diving is a joke/embarrassing,” tweeted Ferdinand. “When Pedro watches that do you think he'll think, 'What was I doing!?' Rugby players must laugh at football."

Regarding the Pepe-Alves incident, the England international centre-back added: "If you ever see me go off on a stretcher then run back on to play, I give everyone on here the green light to hit me with a two-footed tackle."
 
Owen too criticised the Barca players and tweeted: "Alves' actions won't please many as if he had got straight up it would have been a yellow card, but Barca fans will be happy with his actions." 

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho hit out at the “scandal” of the Bernabeu in his post-match press conference and the Spanish giants have released a video on their official website which they claim prove that Pepe did not make contact with Alves during his challenge.

The video also contains footage of a clash between Pedro and Alvaro Arbeloa and an encounter between Sergio Busquets and Marcelo.

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