Real Madrid sealed their berth in the quarter beating Manchester United by 2-1 margin.
Manchester United Knocked out from the UEFA Champions League by defeating 1-2 (2-3 in aggregate) against mighty rival Real Madrid at Old Trafford lastnight in the second leg of the round of 16th stage of UEFA Champions League following their first leg 1-1 stalemate at Santiago Bernabeu. ManU has taken the lead in the 48th minute of the game courtesy an own goal by Real Madrid defender Sergei Ramos but Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir showed a needless straight red card to Nani in the 56th minute of the game for a challenge on the Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa which guided ManU down to 10 men & turned into a disaster for the hosts while the visitors utilized that 1 man advantage with immediate effect, scored 2 goals in the 67th & 69th minute courtesy substituted Luca Modrich & Christano Ronaldo which denied the homeside a place in the quarter stage.
ManU is currently leading the EPL table distantly ahead of the second placed team, in their last EPL encounter they hammered Norwich City by 4-0 margin while Real Madrid arrived Old Trafford after convincingly winning back to back two El-Clasicos against the same archrival Barcelona.
Alex Ferguson omitted Wayne Rooney in his starting line up, instead of that he started Danny Welback with Van Persie in the upfront, Ryan Gigs made his 1000th appearance in the midfield due to the absence of Phil Jones.
First time after 2009 Christano Ronaldo arrived in Old Trafford to face his old club he got a grand welcome & standing ovation from the vociferous crowd of the Old Trafford, just before the kick off it was announced in the public address system of Old Trafford that “Christano Ronaldo welcome back at Old Trafford” might have made him a bit of emotional against his old mates.
Win was desperately needed for the visitors so why Jose Mourinho started with an attacking eleven putting Christano Ronaldo, Gonajlo Higuen & Angel Di Maria all together in the starting line up.
United dominated the entire first half even their goalkeeper David De Gea had not touched a single ball during the entire first half.
Danny Welback was creating all the menaces from the left side in the visitors defence. United almost got their first goal in the 21st minute while Vidic’s strong header following a corner from Ryan Gigs was denied by the post only, Danny Welback hit the rebound in the goalkeepers hand from a clear offside position.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez repeatedly saved twice firstly the short from van Persie & following that rebound another strong attempt by Welback in the 34th minute of the game.
Angel Di Maria got injured due to hamstring pull in the 40th minute of the game, he was substituted by the Brazilian legend Kaka.
After the first 30 minutes in action the visitors also started to counter but no goal was scored, the first half ended in a goalless stalemate.
From the beginning minutes of the second half we got different United side taken the entire control of the midfield, starving for the goal. Madrid defence failed to swallow against that pressure due to that United occupied their first goal in the 48th minute which is actually an own goal scored by Madrid defender Sergei Ramos during his failed clearance attempt following a sharp ball from left side by Nani.
The anti climax, however came in the 56th minute of the game when Nani was needlessly shown a straight red card by Turkish referee during a challenge with Arbeloa in the midfield which actually finished the game as well as the homeside.
Nani’s foot was undoubtedly high as he collided with Alvaro Arbeloa but he was not looking at the Real Madrid full-back. There was no malice, no intent. Nani’s eyes were on the ball. He did not even know Arbeloa was arriving fast. Caught accidentally by Nani, Arbeloa went down and stayed down, clutching his midriff. Even rival captain Sergei Ramos also tried to convince the Turkish referee about his decision.
We got a furious Alex Ferguson pushed his kit-man out of the way to race from the dug-out to the pitch. Nani’s exclusion gave the visitors a handy opportunity to compose their midfield.
Few minutes after that incident experienced Jose Mourinho took his second change while he introduced attacking midfielder Croatian international Modric in the place of Arbeloa.
Which strategy actually became fruitful for the visitors. He endeared himself to the Madrid faithful with an absolutely stunning goal to pull his side level on the night and in the tie. After a long exchange of passes 30 yards away from goal, he dribbled with purpose to his right before unloading on a banana shot to the near post. David De Gea couldn’t get across in time as the ball deflected off the inside of the post and in, leveling the tie at 1-1.
Just after three minutes of that goal Christano Ronaldo himself put the visitors 2-1 ahead following a goal bound pass directed by Higuen from the right side of the box in the 69th minute which actually sealed their berth in the quarter stage.
Christano Ronaldo didn’t make any kind of celebration or physical gesture after that goal which keeps Mourinho on course to become the first manager to win three European Cups with three different clubs. “It was an emotional moment,” said Ronaldo. “I can say only one word: unbelievable. The supporters made me feel shy, so I think in the two games I didn’t play like I play all the time, at the same level. I feel happy because Madrid are through but a bit sad because United are out.”
After that goal it became a tough job for the homeside to score two more goals to level the tie with 10 men in their hand.
Ferguson introduced Wayne Rooney & Ashely Young in the later stage of the game, didn’t work for him, Rooney hooked a close-range volley over the bar in the 74th minute.
United fans kept chanting, kept hoping. Committed to attack, United inevitably left space at the back. Ronaldo almost added a second, forcing David de Gea into a low save.
Jose Mourinho left the bench few minutes to remain in the last whistle moreover we got none of the Madrid players alongwith Christano Ronaldo celebrate their victory at Old Trafford lastnight.
In an another encounter of round of 16 German side Borrusian Dortumund hammered Ukraine side Spartak Dontesk by a clear 3- 0margin fixed a date with Real Madrid in their quarter final encounter.