The former Blues ‘keeper thinks two decisions involving the opposition captain could have gone the other way in a historic win for the English club
Former Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has said that Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos can count himself unlucky to have been sent off in the Champions League game between the sides on Wednesday evening.
The Spain international defender was given his marching orders with less than five minutes of the game remaining and his team 2-1 down at home, for a foul on Gabriel Jesus when the City forward was clean through on goal. City went on to win by that scoreline.
He’ll now be suspended for the second leg as Los Blancos try and stage a comeback and avoid elimination from the competition they have won in three of the last four years.
Hart, a veteran of 266 City appearances currently playing for Burnley, thinks Jesus could easily have received a caution for simulation in the incident, but the reward of Ramos being ruled out for the next game was worth the risk.
“I honestly don’t think that’s a foul or red card,” the 32-year-old told BT Sport.
“Jesus waits for him to touch his shoulder. Worst case scenario for Jesus is a yellow card [for diving].
“Best case is he’s got Real Madrid’s captain, leader, legend out of the second leg.”
Ramos’ expulsion was not the only controversial incident between the pair.
A Jesus header pulled City level after an Isco strike for the Spanish side, but the goal was only confirmed after a lengthy VAR check.
The video assistant was looking at whether Jesus had pushed Ramos to make space for the header.
Although he finally determined he had not, Hart thinks either decision could have gone the other way, referring to the review system in cricket in which the on-field decision is upheld in marginal cases.
“I think both decisions would have been umpire’s call in cricket,” he added.
“I think they could easily have been given fouls [against Jesus] and they wouldn’t have been overruled.”
The second leg will be held on March 17 and City’s lead gives them a chance to advance in a competition manager Pep Guardiola says he must win to avoid being a failure .
The Blues are extremely unlikely to overhaul Liverpool’s 22-point lead in the Premier League and are focused on Champions League success this year ahead of a two-year ban from European competition after this season, which they are appealing .