Rocks Off Toys - bad boy or rock chick
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Betfair: 6 March 2013

Reproduced with permission from (c) The Sporting Exchange Limited.

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Silence speaks louder than words for Sir Alex Ferguson and Christian Crowther believes the great man may now call time on his illustrious career at the end of the season...

You have to feel for Sir Alex Ferguson, for nearly sixty minutes his Real Madrid master plan had been rolled out to near-perfection.

The tie was still very much in the balance but, at 1-0, United seemingly had Real where they wanted them.

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Rocks Off Toys - bad boy or rock chick

Of course we all know what happened next. Now poor old Fergie is understandably distraught and well he might be after seeing possibly his last chance to win a third Champions League trophy slip through his fingers.

On the other side of the coin, following their triumph Jose Mourinho's side are now 3.4 favourites to lift the trophy at Wembley in May.

And just to add salt to the wound, Sir Alex's decision to leave Wayne Rooney out of the starting XI may yet be the sting in the tail in the long term.

From a tactical perspective, the decision - up until the sending off - actually looked perfectly vindicated with Danny Welbeck turning in another brilliant display.

However, Rooney's omission may well now stir up previous ill feelings and renew speculation that the England man could move on in the summer, perhaps even to arch rivals Manchester City if you listen to the brasher rumour peddlers.

At the ripe old age of 71, you have to question Ferguson's desire to go through the kind of express agony he would have felt at the final whistle last night and will continue to feel for some weeks to come.

Earlier comparisons to his treble-winning class of 1999 showed exactly the sort of faith Sir Alex had placed in this group of players, so to be knocked out in this cruel fashion will have inflicted a heavy toll.

The fact that the Scot has yet to comment at all on United's exit is a barometer of his anguish, preferring instead to let assistant Mike Phelan speak to the world's media.

Now, a domestic double is the best Fergie can hope for and, although that shouldn't be scoffed at, adding another European Cup has long been the burning desire for the great man.

To lose out again, and in such cruel fashion, could act as the catalyst to Fergie's curtain call at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have the small matter of a tie against Chelsea to contend with this Sunday, which they are currently rated at 1.85 to win.

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