Jose Mourinho believes Real Madrid have an even chance of progressing to the next round of the Champions League after his side’s one-all draw at home to Manchester United in the tie of the last 16. However, Sir Alex Ferguson will be happier with a result which makes his team favourites to move on ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford.
The man of the match was the United goalkeeper David De Gea who was born in Madrid but played for Real’s rivals in the city, Atletico. He made several exceptional saves, most notably early in the game when he tipped a goal-bound shot on to the post and away to safety.
The two sides had met in the premier European competition four times before this season’s encounter, and Madrid have come out of top three times.
Danny Welbeck scored for United after twenty minutes. In the case of a tie, away goals count double, so Welbeck’s headed goal could prove to be crucial in the context of who progresses in this season’s competition. Ex-United player Cristiano Ronaldo scored with another header ten minutes later. Despite several chances for both sides, there was no further scoring.
De Gea has come in for criticism this year mainly as he is perceived of not having the physical strength to play in the English Premier League. The match against Madrid was just about his best for the club, and it must do great things for his confidence as he looks to settle in Manchester and establish his position in the side.
Although the away side United created several good chances in the second half. Robin van Persie wasted three opportunities which on another night he would have converted. Despite Mourinho’s belief that his side can still win the tie, Ferguson must have been more pleased with how the match panned out in Madrid.