Man United need to lick their wounds and gear up for the next test
There aren’t many days you see the old Scot rushing down the tunnel exasperated after his men conceded. Eventually, the whole of Manchester was out of Europe’s most coveted Championship. As Mourinho said “the world would stop to see…” , a sell-out crowd turned up at Old Trafford to see their very own Cristiano Ronaldo return home. Emotional indeed. You could see him shy away from the ball when the crowd booed him during the game, after that loud and warm reception he got, “Welcome back to Old Trafford”.
Ryan Giggs’s 1,000th appearance in United colors marked a milestone on a gloomy night. The team on paper didn’t really match up to Jose Mourinho’s La Roja. The starting XI raised questions on Sir Alex’s tactical acumen, with Wayne Rooney lost in the shadows warming the bench. The stage was set, the world was watching.
The first half proved decisive but no team was in a hurry for an early goal. Rafael wasn’t disturbed by the stuttering Ronaldo who was finding his feet in the opening quarter.
United countered and appeared dangerous in front of goal. Van Persie miscued finish and Vidic’s header onto the woodwork set up the momentum to the game. The deep line proved to be productive to cut-off the Madrid attacks. At the stroke of half time, all seemed well, United were on course.
Four minutes in the second period, perhaps, Ramos’ only mistake of the night gifted United’s opener. The odds stacked up for Real Madrid, until Nani saw red for his high boot.
It wasn’t deserving of a red and yes the game was killed. Another refereeing howler in yet another big game. Mourinho put on his tactical hat and turned to his attacking intent. And the rest was history. Three minutes is all it took to find the back of the net against a fatigued 10-men United.