Manchester United vs. Real Madrid: A calm opening 15 minutes

Update: Manchester United 1-2 Real Madrid, final. Madrid progress to Champions League quarterfinals.

Through 15 minutes of play, Real Madrid are in control of a game that's taking a while to get going, but Manchester United are starting to come into the match.

Real Madrid got an early chance in the 4th minute after Ryan Giggs took down Fábio Coentrão in prime Ronaldo striking distance. The Portuguese international stood over the ball with his usual tenacity and model-like pose and sent the ball right into the three man wall. Talk about a let down.

Madrid certainly quieted down Old Trafford a bit in the opening minutes thanks to having a majority of the ball and being calm and methodical with their build-up. There was no unnecessary urgency or rush from Madrid, they clearly have a plan and are content to wait and pick their spots while keeping organized defensively and preventing Manchester United from getting an easy, early goal.

Good plan.

Just before the 10th minute, Tom Cleverly and Cristiano Ronaldo made some contact on a 50/50 ball. The United midfielder stayed down for a minute, even gesturing towards the bench before getting back up and continuing.

Gonzalo Higuain did his best to make something out of nothing in the 11th minute, receiving the ball at the top of the United box and managing to dribble to the right and create some space despite there being four or five United players around him. His shot sailed well wide, but it was a nervy moment for the United defense.

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