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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Ronaldo: Barca get special treatment

Cristiano Ronaldo has slammed the performance of referee Frank de Bleeckere in Real Madrid's 1-1 draw with Barcelona and claimed the Catalans receive "preferential treatment" from officials.

• Gallery Photo Gallery
• Alonso: Refs to blame for exit
• Ronaldo adds voice to conspiracy claims
• Mourinho launches Barcelona tirade
• Should Higuain's goal have stood?

Real were knocked out of the Champions League following a 3-1 aggregate defeat to their arch-rivals, with the nine-time European champions outraged by De Bleeckere's decision to disallow a Gonzalo Higuain goal early in the second half, after ruling that Ronaldo had fouled Javier Mascherano.

The decision followed last week's controversial sending off of Pepe by Wolfgang Stark, an incident which prompted Real coach Jose Mourinho to make some remarkable accusations about Barcelona's influence on and off the pitch.

Ronaldo echoed his coach's sentiments at the time and returned to the conspiracy claims after his side's Champions League exit at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

"The team is sad, but we knew it was an uphill battle," Ronaldo said on Real's official website. "The name of the match is Mission Impossible IV. Once again it was the referee that didn't allow us to dictate the outcome. We knew we could beat Barca, but the referee didn't let us.

"Higuain's goal was good. Pique pushed me and I landed on Mascherano. He didn't used to fall to the ground in England, but he's picked up the bad habit of doing it here like everyone else.

"The referee in the first match took away our chances of playing the final. Whoever knows anything about football knows that Barcelona get preferential treatment. We knew something would happen. We knew that if we scored a goal that everything would be done to keep us from going through.

"This isn't good for football. We should just stay home and allow Barcelona to play alone if things don't change. Barcelona have a lot of power off the pitch. We would have drawn 0-0 without the Alves incident and tonight's draw would have seen us through.

"There are no differences between the teams as was seen thoughout the four matches. We won the Copa del Rey by playing fairly. I don't feel that Barcelona were better than us, but rather that they have a lot of help from the referees."

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka also suggested that the visitors had no prospect of success at Camp Nou.

He said: "Mourinho was right. He said that it would be impossible for us to go through. Tonight proved that it was impossible and 100 million people saw it - there is nothing more to add."

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