News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United took a draw from their last-16 Champions League first-leg clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last night. United opened the scoring via a Danny Welbeck header from a corner after 20 minutes.
Former United star Cristiano Ronaldo scored the Spanish champions’ equalizer ten minutes later in the first half. Robin van Persie had two good opportunities to win the game in the second half but the tie now hangs in balance as United wait to host the second leg at Old Trafford next month.
We at HITC have put together five talking points from the 1-1 draw last night.
The Independent asserts that United’s resolve ‘shackled’ Cristiano Ronaldo, in this match report.
However, The Telegraph reports that United fullback Rafael was ‘tormented’ by the Real Madrid superstar.
HITC's Lewis Doe has released his player ratings for the match – United goalkeeper David De Gea and forward Danny Welbeck were awarded the highest rating with 8 out of 10 displays.
Meanwhile, Spanish news outfit Marca is blaming the referee for the draw going against Real Madrid.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson now believes the tie is United’s for the taking. He commented after the game:
"I've got to be pleased. The players dug in and got the result. It takes us back to Old Trafford with a great chance."
He also took the opportunity to praise David De Gea for his standout performance.
"David was excellent and produced three or four really top saves," said Ferguson.
"He's improving all the time.”
Real manager Jose Mourinho insists the tie is still ‘wide open’.
"Everything is open for the second leg and I think this will go to the last minute. If you ask me for a percentage, it's 50/50,” said the Madrid boss.
Cristiano Ronaldo told MUTV it was an emotional occasion for him scoring Real Madrid’s equaliser against his former club.
"To play against Manchester was hard, especially for me, but I just tried to be professional and tried to do my best. I didn't celebrate because I played in Manchester for six years and it was very emotional for me,” he explained.
United’s Phil Jones has stated his belief that United could have won the game. He told ManUtd.com,
“If Robin’s effort had gone in over the keeper and also past him at the end it could have been 3-1.”
Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck has responded to praise for his performance by insisting it was ‘just another game’.
"With all the names they've got we just knew we had to set out as if it was going to be another game,” said the Englishman.
In other news, Manchester United have announced pre-tax profits of £22.3 million for the second half of 2012 which is a 74% rise from the previous year.