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Bayern slam Schweinsteiger's red card

ESPN staff
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Bayern Munich were vocal in their condemnation of the refereeing in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester United following Bastian Schweinsteiger's red card.

Schweinsteiger was sent off for only the second time in his Champions League career after he received a second yellow card for a challenge on United forward Wayne Rooney in the 90th minute of Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, and is set to be suspended for the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer accused referee Carlos Velasco Carballo of double standards after United winger Antonio Valencia escaped a second yellow card for a late tackle on Jerome Boateng.

"If you apply the same standards then I don't know why Valencia stays on the field," Sammer told reporters. "If the referee has a line then he needs to stick to that.

"It is no question that Bastian fouled, but Valencia had several fouls, and his tackle against Jerome Boateng. On this level, you need to apply the same standards."

Bayern centre-back Boateng echoed Sammer's words about his clash with Valencia.

"That was a clear second yellow. I've got a laceration wound on my knee," he said.

"Looking at Valencia's leading leg, I can't understand the decision," Thomas Mueller added.

Bayern captain Phillipp Lahm added: "That's bitter, especially when Valencia stays on the pitch. The difference is just too big."

When asked if he agreed with the red card for Schweinsteiger, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola was more diplomatic: "Absolutely not. I spoke with the referee and he gave me his opinion. I have to respect.

"He is a very good referee. He made a very, very good game. It is unfair, but it is OK. To win the Champions League you have to solve and overcome everything. In football this kind of thing happens."

Schweinsteiger had earlier scored Bayern's equaliser, firing the ball into the roof of the net, and the German media hailed his contribution while lamenting his late red card.

The German press were in no doubt that Bayern did not deserve to finish with a draw and to have been reduced to 10 men at Old Trafford.

"Schweinsteiger red causes trouble," ran the headline in Bild, the biggest German tabloid, while Der Spiegel focused on Manchester United's counter-attacking approach.

"Manchester United did not even try to act as the big team they have been in the past decades. The English side, only seventh in Premier League, gave up the midfield without a fight. In numbers: 78 percent possession of the ball for FC Bayern."

German broadsheet Sueddeutsche Zeitung suggested that, after not being regularly challenged in the Bundesliga and with a "thousand-point lead," Bayern Munich struggled to raise their game.

"While Manchester gave up the midfield completely, it was evident that the sharpness in Munich's game can't be reprogrammed at the flick of a switch.

"Ten years ago, a German team would have been happy to return from the island with such a result. That FC Bayern are somewhat disappointed with that result in the spring of 2014, has to be regarded as a compliment. It speaks for the quality of the team."

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