Real Madrid vs. Manchester United: Fábio Coentrão hits the post as Madrid are in total control early

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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