Mike Hewitt

Real Madrid vs. Manchester United, 2013 UEFA Champions League: Red Devils thrilled with 1-1 draw

Though Real Madrid were the better side on Wednesday night, Manchester United nicked a goal and did well to deny clear scoring chances, and will be happy with their 1-1 draw.

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16 Total Updates since February 13, 2013
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Madrid - United player ratings

Real Madrid and Manchester United produced a great game, so it's time to reflect on the individual performances of each player and look at who's likely to be in and out for the second leg.

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Ronaldo and De Gea define beautiful game

This great game's outstanding performers showed us what's still to love in soccer.

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Scoring draw benefits United

Mission accomplished for Alex Ferguson. Manchester United will be thrilled to walk away from the Bernabeu with a scoring draw against Real Madrid.

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Gus Johnson makes soccer debut

Real Madrid vs. Manchester United saw Gus Johnson make his play-calling debut for Fox Soccer. It wasn't spectacular, but there's some real promise there nevertheless.

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Robin Van Persie comes ever so close twice

Update: Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester United, match report

The ageless Ryan Giggs entered the match in the 65th minute, replacing Shinji Kagawa, as Alex Ferguson appeared more than content to try and play out the 1-1 result. No surprise there at all.The game definitely began to slow down as well with Manchester United playing deeper and deeper, allowing Madrid to sit in possession. Despite seeing so much of the ball, Madrid simply couldn't make the pass or get the shot on target.

In the 70th minute, Ángel Di María found Cristiano Ronaldo making a run right towards the near post. His low cross was on target but Rio Ferdinand was able to get just enough pressure on Ronaldo to prevent him from making clean contact and the ball went wide of the goal.

Diego Lopez came up massive for Madrid in the 72nd minute after Wayne Rooney got loose on a counter attack and found Robin Van Persie on the right side of the box. Van Persie's shot was tipped away by the keeper but not out of play.

United picked up the lose ball and it cycled around before once again ending up on Robin Van Persie's foot standing unmarked less than 10-yards from the goal with nothing between him and the potential match winner but Lopez. Van Persie mis-hit the shot as he turned and the ball tricked towards the empty net before being cleared away at the last moment by Xabi Alonso.

So close for Manchester United!

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Real Madrid and Manchester tied 1-1 at halftime

Update: Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester United, match report

We've reached halftime at the Estadio Bernabéu and despite dominating the game on virtually every front, Real Madrid are tied 1-1 with Manchester United.

Danny Welbeck put the visitors ahead in the 20th minute, heading in a corner but Cristiano Ronaldo responded in the 31st minute with a magnificent header of his own.

In the 33rd minute Danny Welbeck nearly got his second goal of the game as he just missed re-directing a cross from Robin Van Persie past Diego Lopez. Instead, Welbeck's missed the attempt and Lopez was able to deflect the ball out for a corner. Welbeck decided to go after the ball with a high boot rather than a diving header and it might have made the difference. Wayne Rooney had a great chance on the subsequent corner, sending his shot from the top of the box just side of the goal.

David De Gea made a beautiful save in the 38th minute denying a close range snap shot from Mesut Özil. The German midfielder had gotten behind the United defense and brought down a lovely long ball from Xabi Alonso. Despite having to fight the ball a bit to settle it, Özil was still able to get off a great shot. Credit for De Gea for making an excellent reflex save.

Özil inexplicably passed up a shot attempt a minute later as he stood wide open on the right side of the box. Instead of testing De Gea again, he centered the ball towards Ronaldo but the Portuguese striker was unable to get to the ball and it was clumsily cleared at last by United.

Real Madrid wanted a penalty called in the 40th minute when Phil Jones knocked down Ángel Di María with some hard shoulder-to-shoulder contact after Di Maria has weaved his way through the United defense. The referee was right on the spot and didn't hesitate in waving away the protest. It seemed like an obvious penalty to me, but I have the advantage of slow motion replay.

Real Madrid will be happy with 99% of the first half but that 1%, a momentary lapse on a corner that allowed Danny Welbeck to score, is a big one. Plenty of time to build up a lead before heading to Manchester for the second leg though.

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For more on the Red Devils, check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe. For more on Los Merengues, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Ronaldo answers back for Real Madrid

Update: Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester United, match report

More pressure, more desperate defending but the goal was coming for Real Madrid.

Madrid were close again in the 28th minute after Cristiano Ronaldo earned a dangerous free kick about 5-yards outside of the Manchester United box. Ronaldo took the free kick and hammered it off the wall but he quickly followed up the rebound and sent a curling volley that went wide left of the goal.

It seemed fitting that when Madrid finally broke through, it was Ronaldo who scored the goal. The former Manchester United man promised not celebrate if he scored and he lived up to his word in the 31st minute.

Ángel Di María's cross started the play as he whipped the ball across the United box from the left side. Ronaldo was ready and launched himself into the air and seemed to hang there waiting for the ball to arrive. Once it did, he smashed a powerful header past David De Gea and at least, Madrid had their first goal.

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For more on the Red Devils, check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe. For more on Los Merengues, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Danny Welbeck puts United ahead 1-0

Update: Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester United, match report

Madrid continued to pour on the pressure as the match moved towards the 20 minute mark. United's defending became more and more desperate as the shots, close calls and corners began to pile up quickly.

So of course Manchester United scored first.

It started in the 20th minute when yet another one of their long ball attempts towards Shinji Kagawa was knocked out for a corner by a Madrid defender, giving United their first corner of the game. Michael Carrick whipped in the free kick and found Danny Welbeck in space for a header that beat Diego Lopez. United had done absolutely nothing up to that point and all of sudden Madrid's domination didn't mean anything.

Madrid's ability to defend set-pieces was a concern going in to the match and it's fitting I suppose that United took advantage of some poor defending to grab a huge away goal and a lead after 20 minutes of play.

A stunning turn of events at the Bernabéu.

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For more on the Red Devils, check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe. For more on Los Merengues, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Madrid in control early as Coentrão hits the post

Update: Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester United, match report

The fans, the pageantry, the Champions League theme, it really doesn't get any better than this.

Early chance for Madrid in the 2nd minute as they picked their way through Manchester United's midfield before the ball ended up on the foot of Sami Khedira just inside the United box. Khedira's pulled his shot well wide though. Ángel Di María uncorked a curling shot from 20-yards out less than two minutes later, but it too went wide though it was much closer than Khedira's effort. Solid start for Madrid.

Robin Van Persie was shown a yellow card in the 5th minute after he made contact with Sergio Ramos' neck as he backed up on the defender. Didn't seem like much, but Ramos made sure to go down like he'd been hit by a ton of bricks.

Madrid's pressure continued to mount and in the 6th minute they came within inches on taking the lead. Fábio Coentrão jumped on a poor clearance by Rio Ferdinand and hammered a shot that touched off David De Gea's fingers before hitting off the post and away. That ever so slight deflection appeared to change the ball trajectory enough to have it find the post rather than the back of net. Excellent save.

Just a quick look at the contrast of styles early. Madrid are building up through the midfield, taking advantage of their clear superiority in that part of the pitch. United are looking fairly defensive, despite the attacking lineup that Alex Ferguson put out. United's main source of attacks have been long ball attempts trying to catch Madrid's high defensive line.

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For more on the Red Devils, check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe. For more on Los Merengues, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Real Madrid vs. Manchester United: Lineups

The most interesting aspect of the Manchester United lineup will be how they operate to deny space and service to Real Madrid star, and their former player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Real Madrid vs Manchester United: Tactical preview

Manchester United and Real Madrid both have plenty of options to choose from tonight - our soccer staff consider who's likely to start for both sides.

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Sir Alex could send Mourinho out the Bernabeu door

Real Madrid and Manchester United square off in a titanic tie that could see Jose Mourinho ushered out of the Bernabeu if things go the Red Devils' way over two legs.

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Winning is Real Madrid's only option

With La Liga all but lost to rival Barcelona, Real Madrid are completely focused on trying to win the Champions League. The only problem now is whether the pressure creates a diamond or crushes Los Blancos.

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The biggest and most pointless game of all time

Real Madrid and Manchester United could mean the world, or it could mean a sideshow. A bucketload of context might make no difference to the outcome, but it should make for great theatre.

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United will attack Madrid, but focus on Ronaldo

An away goal and a draw will do Manchester United just fine at the Santiago Bernabeu, but they haven't been the kind of team to sit back and nick a goal on the counter this season. They'll have a plan to contain Real Madrid, but also come at them more than you might expect.

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