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Football: So who's to blame for this one, Roy?; FC PORTO 2 MANCHESTER UTD 1 RED CARD SHAME FOR KEANE.

Byline: DAVID McDONNELL

ROY KEANE was sent off in disgrace last night as Manchester United's Champions League campaign was dealt a massive blow.

The United skipper received his marching orders in the 86th minute for a deliberate stamp on Porto keeper Vitor Baia.

It was the 11th dismissal of Keane's United career and earned him a three-game ban which means he will miss the quarter-finals should United overcome Porto in the second leg.

Keane had spent the past week castigating United's defence and his red card capped a miserable night for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

United had got off to the perfect start in the 14th minute when Quinton Fortune gave them the lead with the Reds looking well in control. But UEFA Cup holders Porto were level just before the half-hour through South African striker Benni McCarthy.

And McCarthy struck again in the 77th minute with a looping header to give Porto a vital advantage ahead of the return leg at Old Trafford in a fortnight.

But it was Keane's dismissal that was the talking point. The 32-year-old midfielder needlessly stamped on Baia after the goalkeeper had gathered the ball. Keane immediately raised his hands in acknowledgement of his moment of madness but it was too late as the red card was shown.

Keane's dismissal has left United with a mountain to climb in the second leg and he could have cost Fergie his Champions League dream for another season.

But Ferguson afterwards defended his skipper, believing he was unlucky

to have been dismissed. He said: "I haven't discussed it with Roy, but I don't know if he could have got out out of the road.

"The goalkeeper has made a real meal of it, although you can see why the linesman has flagged."

The Scot was not impressed with the dramatics of the Portuguese side, adding: "I'm surprised referees are not given videos of the matches they handle before games.

"They should be properly prepared and given videos. We've seen things before from this team which are not acceptable."

But he acknowledged his own team's shortcomings tonight, adding: "Having started the game so well we sat back - and when we got possession we didn't use it well enough, and away from home you have to be really patient in terms of possession.

"But there is plenty of football left in this tie.

"We've got an away goal and can win this game - no question."

Porto coach Jose Mourinho said: "We had the ball, we had the chances, we were the better team it's just a pity we couldn't score more goals."

Deportivo La Coruna beat Juventus 1-0, gaining revenge on the Italians, who knocked them out of the second group phase last season.

Albert Luque capitalised on a blunder by France international defender Lilian Thuram to score.

CAPTION(S):

SHAME OLD KEANE: Roy Keane gets his 11th red card; KEANE ON STAMP DUTY: United skipper Roy Keane stamps on Porto keeper Vitor Baia to ean a red card
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2004
Words:500
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