Man Utd v Real Madrid: Live Report
- Published: 6/03/2013 at 02:49 AM
- Online news:
AFP IS CLOSING THIS LIVE REPORT after Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Old Trafford, losing 3-2 on aggregate.
A Real Madrid supporter poses holds up hisscarf ahead of the Champions League last-16 second leg between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on March 5, 2013. Manchester United were later beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid, losing 3-2 on aggregate.
United went in front three minutes into the second half when Nani's cross deflected off Danny Welbeck before being turned over his own goal-line by defender Sergio Ramos.
But the Portuguese winger was then dramatically sent off for dangerous play by referee Cuneyt Cakir on 56 minutes for a high foot which caught Arvalo Arbeloa in the chest but which replays showed to be inadvertant.
The United players were enraged, realising the effect the decision could have on such a finely balanced tie, and their fears were well-founded.
Madrid drew level soon after the hour-mark when Croatian midfielder Luka Modric fired the visitors in front with a shot from 25 yards which went in off David De Gea's lefthand post.
Three minutes later Madrid took the lead when United old boy Cristiano Ronaldo slid in at the back post to knock Gonzalo Higuain's cross-shot over the line.
The Portuguese didn't celebrate, as a sign of respect for his former club, but the bald truth was his goal meant United needed to score twice more to progress.
The hosts had opportunities through Robin van Persie, whose shot was well saved by Diego Lopez, and Nemanja Vidic, who fired in a late bullet header that was also blocked by Real Madrid's inspired stand-in goalkeeper, but ultimately came up short.
The United players surrounded the referee after the final whistle to voice their anger at the Nani decision, and the replays showed they had a case for feeling aggrieved.
Madrid boss Jose Mourinho skulked off almost apologetically down the tunnel, saying afterwards that his side "didn't deserve to win" but that will be little consolation to his opposite number Alex Ferguson.
Mourinho was hired to win a long-sought tenth European Cup for Real Madrid -- 'La Décima' as it is known to their fans -- and this victory keeps their dream alive..
Read on for a blow-by-blow account of how the second leg unfolded at the Old Trafford:
2150 GMT: Former United midfielder Roy Keane disagrees with fellow pundits in the ITV studio, ex-England defenders Lee Dixon and Gareth Southgate, over the Nani red card.
"I think the referee got it right. It was dangerous play," Keane says.
"Whether he meant it or not doesn't matter."
Dixon argues that Nani couldn't see Arbeloa coming as he had his eyes on the ball as it came over his shoulder and so couldn't have been expected to pull out of the challenge, and Southgate agrees. They both think a yellow card would have sufficed.
2144 GMT: Mourinho refuses answer a question about whether the red card was the turning point.
"Independent of the decision the best team lost -- we didn't deserve to win," Mourinho tells ITV.
"The best team lost."
2140 GMT: The United players surround referee Cuneyt Cakir after the final whistle -- fingers are pointed and Rio Ferdinand sarcastically applauds him. That won't help anyone but you can understand their anger.
That sending off totally changed this game.
90+5 mins: FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 1 REAL MADRID 2 (2-3 on aggregate)
Real Madrid are into the Champions League last eight but all the talk will be about that Nani sending off.
Mourinho looks almost apologetic as he walks off.
90+2 mins: CHANCE! Another great save by Lopez from a powerful Vidic header.
Five minutes of injury time to play - United refusing to throw in the towel.
90 mins: CHANCE! Kaka almost compounds United's misery with a shot from the left side of the area which deflects off Carrick, onto the post and off De Gea's back, the United 'keeper stretches out to grab the ball before it goes over the line.
88 mins YELLOW CARD! Real defender Pepe goes into the book for a foul
88 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Rafael is replaced by Antonio Valencia
84 mins: CHANCE! Van Persie slides in on the left of the area and forces a great save from Lopez. The ball is crossed back in for Rooney six yards out but he can only hook it over the bar.
United aren't going down without a fight here.
83 mins: CHANCE! Short corner from Young, Carrick fires in a flicked header but Lopez palms it away.
81 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Ashley Young replaces Welbeck for United.
80 mins: Rafael crosses from the right to Welbeck who fires in a powerful shot which strikes Ramos on the arm before van Persie fires over from the rebound.
Ramos was only a yard away though and penalty claims are waved away.
74 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Wayne Rooney is sent on for Tom Cleverley. Ferguson knows he has to gamble now.
72 mins: YELLOW CARD! Kaka also goes in te book for a late lunge.
70 mins: YELLOW CARD! Michael Carrick in the book for complaining after claiming Khedira had blocked van Persie's cross with his arm. Replays show he had his arms by his sides and it was a long shot.
69 mins: GOAL! Manchester United 1 Real Madrid 2 (2-3 on aggregate)
And guess who - it's Cristiano Ronaldo on his return to Old Trafford, sliding in at the back post to knock Higuain's shot over the line.
The tie has been turned upside down within just two minutes and the sending off does indeed seem to be proving pivotal.
And United need to score twice know with ten men..
66 mins: GOAL! Manchester United 1 Real Madrid 1 (2-2 on aggregate)
Luka Modric with a sizzling equaliser for Real Madrid. The Croatian earns some space with a shimmy 25 yards out before letting fly with a right-footed shot which beats the Dea Gea's outstretched palm and goes in off the post.
64 mins: Real are ramping the pressure up here on the United defence with the extra man -- but the booing from the United fans at that sending off transforms into a roar, Giggs now urging the crowd on.
59 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Mourinho reacts to the sending off by sending Croatian winger Luka Modric on for Alvaro Arbeloa.
Ferguson is urging the crowd to get behind his team as he realises the next 35 minutes are going to be a real test of his team.
56 mins: RED CARD! Nani has been sent off for a high boot on Arbeloa and United are down to ten men!
Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir must have decided there was intent there but the Portuguese winger seemed to have his eyes on the ball before he caught Arbeloa on the chest.
Seem an extremely harsh decision on viewing replays and that could change this game.
48 mins: GOAL! Manchester United 1 Real Madrid 0 (2-1 on aggregate)
Own-goal from Sergio Ramos and United have the lead!
After a forceful run from Rafael, the ball fell to Welbeck in the box before squirting wide to van Persie -- the Dutchman's shot is deflected across the area to Nani who fires it back in and it goes in off Ramos' shins from six yards out.
The ball took a slight touch off Welbeck before it reached Ramos which may have made the difference.
2046 GMT: SECOND-HALF BEGINS: United get the game under way again at Old Trafford..
2044 GMT: My colleague reporting from Old Trafford, Tom Williams, says Giggs was "tearing up and down the right flank with the enthusiasm of a teenager" in that first half.
With Madrid's own whippet winger Angel Di Maria off with a knock, could the Welshman cap his 1,000th senior game with a goal after the break? The roof might just come off the Stretford End.
2035 GMT: Alex Ferguson will be reasonably happy with that first half -- United came closest to scoring through Vidic's header that hit the post and they contained Ronaldo to one half-chance.
The pressure will be on Jose Mourinho's side after the break -- they have to score or they're out.
45+1 mins: HALF-TIME: Manchester United 0 Real Madrid 0 (1-1 on aggregate)
42 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Di Maria has taken a knock and is replaced by the Brazilian Kaka -- which tells you something about Real's strength in depth.
38 mins: YELLOW CARD! Alvaro Arbeloa takes a poor touch and tries to compensate with a lunge towards Patrice Evra. The defender catches Evra on the thigh and rightly goes into the book.
35 mins: CHANCE! Van Persie finds a yard of space with a cute turn on the edge the Real Madrid area and rifles in a stinging left-footed shot which Lopez palms away unconvincingly straight to Welbeck. The England striker shoots but Lopez is out quickly to deflect the ball over the bar..
32 mins: Through ball on the right finds Higuain in the United area after a good run behind the United back four but De Gea is off his line quickly to block the striker's shot from a narrow angle.
28 mins: CHANCE! Sami Khedira finds Ronaldo with a delicate chipped pass over the top after the Portuguese makes a well-timed run into the box. The winger controls it but his shot is blocked.
26 mins: Welbeck breaks into the Real Madrid box but Sergio Ramos recovers to block his left-footed shot behind for a corner. Van Persie tries an outrageous overhead kick from the resulting corner but slices it behind.
21 mins: WOODWORK! Van Persie curls in a corner from the right and Nemanja Vidic fires a thunderous header against the foot of Diego Lopez's lefthand post.
It rebounds straight to the feet of Welbeck who prods it back towards goal but Lopez somehow stops it between his legs right in the line.
Welbeck looked offside from the replay but the linesman's flag wasn't raised.
17 mins: YELLOW CARD! Patrice Evra in the book for cynically dragging down Di Maria on the right. The Frenchman clearly thought he wouldn't have a chance of staying with the pacy Argentine in a foot-race.
16 mins: Welbeck finds Nani down the left flank -- the Portuguese winger at first gets away from Rafael Varane but the defender gets back to block his cross on the byline.
13 mins: CHANCE! At the other end this time as the game warms up -- Welbeck gets the ball on the right and finds Giggs with a short pass. The Welshman fashions an ingenious cross with the outside of his left foot to find Robin van Persie at the back post but the Dutch striker's volley is blocked. inside the six-yard area.
Cleverley still hobbling slightly but seems ok to continue.
11 mins: CHANCE! First real opening of the game as the ball falls to Gonzalo Higuain on the edge of the area but the Argentine striker is leaning back as he curls a shot high and wide of David De Gea in the United goal.
10 mins: Tom Cleverley is clutching his ankle after being caught by a stretching Ronaldo - the United midfielder's hobbling but will try to run it off.
7 mins: Danny Welbeck fouls Xabi Alonso inside the United half. Mesut Ozil finds Angel Di Maria in space on the right from the free-kick but his attempted cross is blocked behind for a corner.
Real looking threatening right from the off here.
3 mins: First danger for United as Giggs is late on Fabio Coentrao near the left touchline.
Cristiano Ronaldo lines up the free-kick and fires in a right-footed shot but it's straight into the wall.
1945 GMT: KICK-OFF - Real Madrid get us under way at Old Trafford for what should be a night of high drama.
1942 GMT: The teams walk out onto the Old Trafford pitch -- there's a raucous atmosphere in the stands, one of which shimmers with the red and white flags being waved by United supporters.
1935 GMT: Former United midfield kingpin Roy Keane is certainly surprised by Rooney being dropped for the game, and says it may have implications for the England striker's future at Old Trafford.
"I think he'll be bitterly disappointed that he's been left out," Keane says on ITV.
"Maybe the writing's on the wall for him."
1930 GMT: "Rooney's demotion obviously a big shock, but Danny Welbeck is probably more adept at hugging the touchline and was superb in the first leg," my AFP colleague Tom Williams, who is at Old Trafford, writes via his @tomwfootball Twitter handle.
1920 GMT: Since he made his United debut in 1991, the evergreen Giggs has made 931 appearances for the club, 64 for Wales and for four for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics.
1912 GMT: More on the team news -- Giggs, who is 39 let's not forget, has been selected to start in midfield alongside Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Nani as Alex Ferguson makes six changes to the team that started Saturday's 4-0 rout of Norwich City.
With Rooney surprisingly demoted to the substitutes bench, Danny Welbeck will partner Robin van Persie in attack, while Rio Ferdinand has been preferred to Jonny Evans at centre-back.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in Madrid's starting line-up for his first game at Old Trafford since he left United for the Spanish capital in 2009.
Ronaldo joined Angel di Maria and Mesut Oezil in returning to the Madrid starting XI, while Gonzalo Higuain was chosen to start up front, with Karim Benzema on the bench.
Diego Lopez continued to deputise for injured Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who remains sidelined with a broken left thumb.
1905 GMT: Team news just in -- big news is Wayne Rooney's not in the starting line-up but Ryan Giggs will start for his 1,000th appearance in senior football.
De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic (capt), Evra; Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs; Nani, van Persie, Welbeck
Manager: Alex Ferguson (SCO)
Diego Lopez; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain
Manager: Jose Mourinho (POR)
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
1859 GMT: A reminder that Jose Mourinho was in no mood to underplay the significance of the game at a packed press conference at Old Trafford yesterday.
"That's the one million dollar question -- who knows what is going to make the difference?" the Portuguese said.
"Nobody knows and that's why the world will stop to watch this tie -- it doesn't look like a tie, it looks like a final.
"Let's see which teams arrive at Wembley but I doubt the expectation could be bigger for this one."
WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT on the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie between Real Madrid and Manchester United at Old Trafford.
United are in the driving seat after a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Bernabeu last month, but Real Madrid go into the game on the back of two rousing victories over arch rivals Barcelona in the past week.
What's more, United have only overcome the nine-time European champions once in four previous knockout ties in the competition.
For all his experience, 71-year-old United manager Alex Ferguson continues to be thrilled by his side's adventures in the Champions League.
"People ask me why I don't retire after so many years in the game," he writes in his programme notes for tonight's game. "How could anyone with an ounce of passion for football in their soul voluntarily walk away from the opportunity to be involved in this kind of occasion?"
Regardless of the outcome, the game promises to be a very special occasion for two men.
United veteran Ryan Giggs will be making his 1,000th appearance in senior football if he plays, while Cristiano Ronaldo can expect a rapturous reception as he returns to Old Trafford for the first time since he left United for Madrid in 2009.
Stay with us for all the action as it happens at Old Trafford -- kick-off is at 1945 GMT.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency