Jose Mourinho admitted Real Madrid did not deserve to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a controversial 2-1 win over 10-man Manchester United.
The Spanish giants looked on course to exit Europe's grandest club competition when Sergio Ramos' own-goal shortly after half-time gave United the initiative in the second leg at Old Trafford. But the encounter was turned on its head when Nani was given what seemed a harsh red card in the 56th minute for a mid-air challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa.
Luka Modric levelled on the night and on aggregate with a spectacular strike from distance 10 minutes later before, inevitably, former United old boy Cristiano Ronaldo scored what proved to be the winner shortly afterwards.
While much of the attention was focused on Nani's sending off, Mourinho preferred to salute the efforts of his opponents.
"Independent of the decision, the best team lost. We didn't play well, we didn't deserve to win but football is like this," the Portuguese told ITV1 in a brief interview. "I'm not speaking about the decision because I'm not sure about it."
When pressed further, Mourinho quickly added: "But independent of that the best team lost."
Mourinho said he was frustrated his side was not able to match a dominant United and believed only the red card to Nani had swayed the tie in Madrid's favour.
"They were very aggressive, they were very well organised tactically and the match was very difficult for us," he said on Sky Sports News.
"But I doubt that 11 against 11 we can win that match.
"I'm a bit frustrated because we played amazingly well against Barcelona and today I was waiting for more.
"I wanted my team to come here and to express our football in a different way.
"I know they are giants, not just physically but also mentally, I know they are fantastic and I know they have a manager who can motivate and organise people.
"But I was wanting us to come here and play in a different way."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report