Manchester United will be happy with their play in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, but sloppy finishing doomed them to just a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich. The result sends the Red Devils to the Allianz Arena needing a win, or at least one goal in a draw, which is highly unlikely against a superb Bayern side.
The first half played out as most expected, with Bayern controlling possession completely and setting up shop in United's half. However, Bayern didn't appear to show much respect to United's ability to counter and were made to look a bit silly in defense when they gave the ball away. Danny Welbeck looked dangerous all half, though he couldn't capitalize on his chances. He had a goal disallowed for a foul in the 4th minute, then missed a big one-on-one in the 40th minute.
Bayern weren't able to generate too many chances, even though they had lots of the ball. Thomas Müller, who started up top instead of a true striker, didn't look great in his role early on. He missed a golden chance off a Franck Ribery cross in the 11th minute and was regularly outmuscled by United's defenders.
The closest Bayern came to scoring was on a shot from outside of the box, from Arjen Robben. He let go of a left-footed drive from 20 yards in the 31st minute that looked destined for the back of the net, but David De Gea came up with an excellent save at his far post.
The second half started just like the first, but United got a half-chance in the 58th minute and took advantage. A corner kick looked like it would fall in the box, with it being pretty far behind Nemanja Vidic and no one else in the area, but the Serb somehow managed to bend backwards and head the ball into the corner despite going the wrong way for a spectacular goal. Somehow, some way, the Red Devils led.
Nothing changed after United went in front, with Bayern continuing to keep the ball and pass it around the Red Devils' half, but one thing did change -- they scored less than 10 minutes later.
Bayern's goal was a thing of beauty, with great, fluid passing moving the ball up the field before finding space down the right. A cross then found the head of Mario Mandzukic, who nodded the ball down for an on-rushing Bastian Schweinsteiger. The midfielder then took the ball on the half-volley and poked it into the corner, finishing the great move with an equally great finish.
The Germans didn't settle for a draw, but their attempts at goal were less than clinical so a second goal did not come. That is hardly a worry, with a draw and away goal going back to the Allianz Arena, but what they will be concerned about is the impending absences of Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez.
Schweinsteiger was shown two yellow cards in the second half, the second of which was marginal, but Wayne Rooney sold it well and Schweinsteiger was shown the door. It was already the 90th minute when he saw red so it didn't affect this match much, but he will be suspended for the second, as will Martinez, who was cautioned and will have to sit out due to yellow card accumulation.
Manchester United: De Gea, Buttner (Young 74'), Vidic, Ferdinand, Jones, Fellaini, Carrick, Giggs (Kagawa 46'), Welbeck, Rooney, Valencia
Goals: Vidic 58'.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Alaba, Martinez, Boateng, Rafinha, Lahm, Schweinsteiger (red card 90'), Kroos (Gotze 74'), Ribery, Müller (Mandzukic 63'), Robben.
Goals: Schweinsteiger 67'.