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Fort United is for Real this time

BESTPIX Real Madrid v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Round of 16-1708632It was a night of drama, a night of passion, a night of survival. It was a night when United survived relentless pressure and fought their demons to reach a draw that could prove pivotal in their European campaign.

Much had been made of this clash, Ronaldo’s first meeting against his former club, and it did not disappoint, offering everything a European tie should provide. The scene is set for the return leg on the 5th March at Old Trafford which we’re giving away two tickets to courtesy of bwin.

United were pegged back in their own half, their own box even, but withstood the waves of white with a maturity they had lacked in years gone by, and considering the average age of this United side it was no small achievement.

United, wary of their record at the Bernabeu, started with a defensive formation, with Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans and Evra at the back and Phil Jones, Carrick, Kagawa and Rooney in midfield with VanPersie up-front.

With five minutes gone, Ronaldo’s cross was rebuffed by Ferdinand but¬†Coentrao’s shot was deflected onto the post by David De Gea.

As the clock reached 20 minutes United were ahead having sustained a lengthy spell of pressure from Real Madrid.

Rooney’s corner found Welbeck whose brilliant header secured what could prove to be a vital away goal and sent the United end berserk.

Within three minutes Di Maria went close to the equaliser but his shot was brilliantly parried by David De Gea, who had to surrender to Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb header on the half hour mark.

Di Maria’s pinpoint cross found Ronaldo hanging in the air over Patrice Evra, before he buried a header past David De Gea to level the score, an effort reminiscing of his goal in Moscow in the 2008 final.

There were no twists in the plot, as Ronaldo didn’t celebrate as a sign of respect to his former team.

Three minutes later, United should have silenced the Bernabeu crowd yet again but Welbeck’s flick was inches wide and when Rooney found space on the following corner, his shot was a whisker away from the post.

The game was end to end and minutes later Ozil tested De Gea before Ronaldo came within inches from meeting the German’s cross.

Just before halftime Ronaldo’s header fizzled wide, before Di Maria went close after the restart.

Varane should have seen red for bringing down Patrice Evra a minute later, before De Gea produced an outstanding save to deny Coentrao who thought he had put Real in front.

Giggs replaced Kagawa and United’s fight for survival almost turned into a smash and grab effort as Van Persie saw his shot parried onto the bar, before his second bite of the cherry was cleared off the line by Xabi Alonso.

De Gea was alert again to stop Khedira’s shot five minutes from time, before Van Persie went closeto win the game.

Lopez denied him, but United’s effort rewarded them with a precious draw that increases their chances of progressing to the next round

Dan (@MUFC_dan87)



  1. The_Philosopher

    14 February 2013 at 14:39

    I love Sir Alex Ferguson.

    The work he has done developing Johnny Evans is amazing. Evans is now a first choice centre back who can deputise efficiently for the aging Ferdinand and injury battling Vidic.

    Evans is a solid rock in our defence. I hear it all the time ‘Evans isn’t United quality’

    And My response is always the same. Under Sir Alex Ferguson he is.

    Welbeck under Ferguson is a brilliant player.

    I really do appreciate the work Sir Alex has done in bringing through the likes of Jones, Cleverley, Evans, Welbeck, Rafael, De Gea and all the other youngsters before them.

    What on earth was Pogba smoking?!?

    These guys (Excluding Cleverley) stood toe to toe with Real Madrid and didn’t give any ground. They held their own.

    Thats the genious of Sir Alex Ferguson.

    • Sahal

      14 February 2013 at 18:16

      @The_Philosopher: Can’t really blame Pogba,Fergie played two veterans and a right-back ahead of him in midfield.He didn’t get the game time promised so he moved on.
      Spot on with the other points!

      Already looking forward to second leg,hope Fergie will get the tactics spot on again.

    • Karl

      23 January 2014 at 18:21

      @The_Philosopher: Fergie also destroyed a lot of players’ careers.

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