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UEFA Champions League
February 14, 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: F. Brych
• Attendance: 79429
Cristiano Ronaldo 30'
D. Welbeck 20'
Thank you all for joining me for tonight's game in Madrid, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Bring on the second leg on March 5! Good night everyone.
FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-1 MANCHESTER UNITED Sir Alex will be ecstatic to have come away from the Bernabeu with a score-draw after Madrid failed to breach United's stubborn defence in the second half after Welbeck and Ronaldo had scored for either team before the break. United are in the stronger position going into the second leg at Old Trafford, but will be aware of the threat Madrid can pose going forward, as they had De Gea to thank for pulling off a few top saves to keep the score level in the second period.
90' + 4'
That is the last play of the game. Felix Brych blows his whistle to mark the end of the game!
90' + 3'
VAN PERSIE GOES CLOSE!! United have a free kick in the dying seconds of the game that is headed away by Pepe, only for the ball to quickly find its way to van Persie on the left side of the Madrid box. The Dutchman takes a touch to set himself before drilling a shot towards the bottom corner that Lopez brilliantly tips wide.
90' + 1'
GLORIOUS LAST-DITCH DEFENDING FROM JONES!! Ronaldo is primed and ready to smash Modric's cross past De Gea from close range only for Jones to dive in and poke the ball away from danger.
HIguain fouls Carrick in an advanced position for Madrid and that is really sloppy from the ex-River Plate forward. The last thing his team want is for United to have a free kick and a chance to use up some seconds as this game edges to a close.
Yellow Card Antonio Valencia
STAT: Real Madrid have had 28 shots in this game, but just eight of those have been on target.
SO CLOSE FROM RONALDO!! I have no idea how he generates so much dip on a football but he does and it's marvellous to watch. On this occasion the ball lands on the roof of the net rather than dipping under the crossbar, but that is still a top effort from the attacker.
Free kick to Madrid after Modric is fouled by Jones 35 yards out. I wonder who will fancy this...
Madrid make their third change as Xabi Alonso is replaced by Pepe in los Blancos' midfield for the final minutes of this game.
IT ALL OPENS UP FOR GIGGS.... But he fails to get a shot away! The veteran Welsh wizard has a great chance to test Lopez after a weak clearance from Ramos but he gets the ball stuck under his feet and the Spain centre-back is able to recover and steal the ball away from the United sub.
SMART STOP FROM DE GEA TO KEEP OUT KHEDIRA!! The Spaniard dives to his right to pluck Khedira' shot from the air as he continues his fine performance for the visiting side.
Antonio Valencia glances despairingly at the referee after being clattered by Coentrao but the ref again tells United to get on with things and play continues.
Speculative effort from Higuain! The Argentine forward manages to get a foot to the ball and poke a shot towards goal just as it appeared to have run away from him. De Gea is alert to the danger though and drops to his left to retrieve the ball.
Ángel Di María
Unsure as to why Di Maria is the man being withdrawn there, he's been tormenting United's defence in this second half.
With just over a quarter of an hour remaining Mourinho makes his second change, replacing the dangerous Di Maria with Luka Modric.
ALONSO CLEARS OFF THE LINE FOR MADRID!! The second half has sprung to life! Only a desparate hooked clearance from the former Liverpool midfielder stops van Persie's mishit shot from dribbling over the line after Lopez had been caught out of position.
VAN PERSIE HITS THE WOODWORK! Lopez does very well to tip the Dutchman's snapshot onto the crossbar to keep the score at 1-1.
That corner, however, amounts to absolutely nothing as Evans hammers a clearance way upfield.
Some controlled, patient play from Madrid results in a near-post chance for Ronaldo, but he is just beaten to Higuain's cross by Ferdinand who deflects the ball behind for a corner.
Mourinho needs to inject something into his side here. Kaka perhaps? That would certainly be greeted well by some of you football romantics out there. Personally I'd give former Tottenham maestro Luka Modric a run out.
Jones clears a Madrid corner away for United as the home side appear to be running out of ideas as the second half wears on.
Big respect to the Madrid fans at the Bernabeu for clapping Giggs as he was introduced there. They know a legend when they see one.
Rooney stands over a free kick, then after humming and hahhing for what seems like an age he decides to pass it straight to Madrid's Varane. Terrible set piece.
United make a change of their own now as Kagawa makes way for the evergreen Ryan Giggs.
WHAT A STOP FROM DE GEA!! The United goalkeeper keeps Coentrao's diving effort out with his feet to keep the score level. That was brilliant, unorthodox play from the former Atletico Madrid man.
And there is that change for the home side, Higuain is on for the disappointing Benzema.
Gonzalo Higuain is warming up on the sidelines for Madrid. I would be VERY surprised if it wasn't Benzema coming off.
That was so nearly brilliant interplay between Ronaldo and Di Maria. The latter has come into the game more since the break and is proving difficult to pick up for United's defence. On this occasion he prods the ball to Ronaldo and nearly takes a quick-fire return pass in his stride only to be eased off the ball by Jones.
STAT: All three of van Persie’s goals in the Champions League this season have come away from home. Omen?
Van Persie's high cross is about five yards from finding a team-mate though, and Madrid are able to calmly bring the ball clear out of defence.
United have a free kick over on the right after a cynical block from Coentrao on Rafael.
IS THAT A FOUL?? Varane steals the ball from Evra as his fellow countryman raced through on goal but it looked like the young centre-back might have fouled the United player in the process. Felix Brych thinks otherwise though and waves play on.
SUBLIME FROM DI MARIA!! The former Benfica winger juggles the ball on his thigh before volleying a shot a whisker wide of De Gea's left-hand post. The United keeper would not have stood a chance if that had been on target.
Madrid are dominating the early stages of this second half and De Gea has just been forced into another low stop, this time from Di Maria - the Argentine arrowing a shot goalwards from 25 yards.
There's a fairly even split of people in favour of United or Madrid on my Twitterfeed at the moment. Quite a few of you are predicting more goals, which I have got to say I agree with. The first 50 minutes have been wonderfully open and fast-paced, long may it continue.
Ronaldo shoots straight at De Gea after the ball falls to him 20 yards out. In all fairness to the forward he wasn't expecting that to drop him to there with his back to goal on the edge of the United box.
VITAL TOUCH FROM LOPEZ!! The Madrid goalkeeper jumps ahead of Kagawa well to palm the ball out for a throw-in as the Japanese midfielder tried to meet Rooney's cross.
No changes to report from half-time by the way.
The second half gets underway with United quickly trying to attack down the right-hand side.
Out come the teams. Mourinho looks marvellous on the bench for Madrid. What a man.
SECOND QUICK THOUGHT: Ozil has been class so far for Madrid, after an indifferent run of form in recent months. Good to see the German back playing at the level he's capable of.
QUICK THOUGHT: Rafael is on a yellow card after that foul on Ozil. Can't see the second half going too well for the Brazilian full-back if I'm honest...
Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter during the break by sending your thoughts, predictions and praise (maybe not), to @charliefscott.
HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-1 MANCHESTER UNITED Danny Welbeck gave United the lead against the run of play in the 20th minute with a well-taken header from Wayne Rooney's corner, before Cristiano Ronaldo nodded past David De Gea just 10 minutes later to even the scoreline. Madrid have looked the more dangerous side going forward in the first half, with Fabio Coentrao hitting the post and Ronaldo coming close on a couple of other occasions. United will be delighted with the scoreline at present though, as they possess what could be a vital away goal.
45' + 1'
RONALDO SHOULD TEST DE GEA THERE! Madrid's No. 7 has a chance to add a second when he meets Coentrao's inviting cross with his head but his effort flies a fair distance wide of the United goal.
The corner finds its way to Rafael 20 yards out but his half-volleyed effort is sliced high over Diego Lopez's goal.
That's fabulous from van Persie! The Netherlands international drops back into his own half to receive the ball, hold off two challenges and then start a counter attack that results in a corner for his side.
RONALDO HITS A RISING SHOT JUST OVER!! The Portugal international creates a near-replica of his stunning first goal against Sevilla at the weekend as he works some space 20 yards from goal before shooting with his left foot. Rather than find the top corner like he did on Saturday, this time the ball flies inches over the crossbar.
Madrid have a penalty shout turned down by the referee Felix Brych after Di Maria is barged off the ball by Jones inside the box. That's a correct decision from the man in luminous yellow.
Alonso tries to lift a cross to Ronaldo at the back post but on this occasion he is beaten in the air by Ferdinand, who heads the ball away for the visitors.
Yellow Card Rafael
Rafael fouls Ozil and Madrid win a free kick on the edge of the United box near the byline.
Di Maria is putting in a fine performance for Madrid in this first half. He has just cut the United defence in two with a pass to Ozil, but Madrid's No. 10 is perhaps too unselfish as he tries to pull a pass back to Benzema when he could have shot at goal from inside the area.
GOOD STOP FROM DE GEA!! Ozil ghosts in behind Evans to control Coentrao's pass in his stride before firing a firm effort at goal from a tight angle. De Gea is a match for the effort from the German midfielder though and pushes the ball round the post to safety.
Arrogant from Ronaldo! And not in a good way. The Madrid attacker plays a no-look pass straight to the feet of Jones and as a result United have an opportunity to push forward on the left.
Ignore that last post... Welbeck has just nearly scored a second for the visitors!! The England international prodded a shot just wide after stretching to connect with Rooney's cross from the left wing.
Madrid continue to attack as we pass the half-hour mark, with United looking a bit stunned at the moment after leading for just 12 minutes.
That assist from Di Maria was outrageous, the whip he got on the ball to curl it onto Ronaldo's head was so impressive.
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
Assist Ángel Di María
Ronaldo's first effort with his right foot flies into the wall but his follow-up attempt with his left foot from the rebound nearly arrows into the bottom left corner. That would have been a superb goal for the Madeira-born forward.
Free kick for Madrid, 30 yards from goal...
STAT: Madrid confirmed earlier that there are 800 working media personnel at the Bernabeu tonight helping to send the game to the rest of the world. Wow.
Madrid win two corners in quick succession after De Gea palms the first behind. Ozil drives the second set piece into the box but it is flicked clear by Evans on the penalty spot.
Full-time scoreline predictions on a postcard/tweet to @charliefscott!
Sir Alex's side have the luxury of being able to sit back and defend now, having scored what could be a vital away goal. Then again they could push forward and grab another!
Madrid have been beaten from corners and set pieces so many times this season. United have the lead here, against the run of play. It was a fine cross and finish to put them a goal up though.
Goal Danny Welbeck
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Danny Welbeck
GOALLLL!!!! WELBECK GIVES UNITED THE LEAD!! Madrid show their weakness at set pieces AGAIN, and Danny Welbeck is the man to make them pay with a fine header into the bottom corner from Rooney's inviting corner.
Corner to United. Ramos is furious that Felix Brych has given that United's way. A chance for the away side to exploit Madrid's porous defence?
Ozil is allowed to dribble with the ball a long way by United only to be thwarted by a tackle from Ferdinand just as he pulled back to shoot with his left foot from 20 yards.
Benzema is down clutching his groin after blocking Rafael's clearance with his private parts. That's got to hurt. Poor Karim.
Madrid have a free kick a long way out... and for once it's even too far for Ronaldo to shoot. Instead Xabi Alonso hits a vicious pass to the back post that is headed behind by Jonny Evans for another corner for Madrid.
Ozil swings a corner towards Ramos from the right but the Spain international cannot quite connect with the cross under pressure from Ferdinand.
Some dogged defensive work from Evra stops Di Maria from making any headway in the centre of the pitch, in fact the United captain chases him all the way from his left-back position over to the right-wing to steal the ball. Top defending from a player who has seemed more preoccupied with attacking this season.
Anything you can do I can do better... van Persie, not to be outdone by Ronaldo's piece of skill, evades two challenges from Arbeloa on the left for United with a sumptuous switch of feet.
Ronaldo dances into the box on the left for Madrid before pulling a pass back towards Benzema but the France international cannot get a first-time effort on target as he is crowded out by a posse of red shirts.
STAT TIME: Madrid are 33 games unbeaten in all competitions at the Bernabeu, since a 2-1 defeat by Barcelona on 18 January 2012.
Good covering from Phil Jones cancels out the threat of Di Maria as the Madrid attacker looked to dart down the left-hand side with the ball at his feet.
Don't forget guys and girls, you can get involved with this LIVE commentary by hurling your views on the game over to me on Twitter @charliefscott. As always I would love to hear from you.
Well the first seven minutes have certainly lived up to the hype! It has been wildly open so far.
WONDERFUL SAVE FROM DE GEA!! United's goalkeeper does brilliantly to tip Fabio Coentrao's curling right-footed shot onto the post after a tame clearance from Rio Ferdinand teed the ball up for the Portuguese full-back.
Yellow Card Robin van Persie
BOOKING FOR VAN PERSIE!! The flying Dutchman is the first man into Felix Brych's notebook after catching Sergio Ramos with a flailing arm. That could be construed as harsh, but he did make contact with the Spaniard's face there.
GREAT PLAY FROM DI MARIA!! The tricky winger drives past the challenges of Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick before letting rip from 25 yards, with his shot flying a yard or so wide.
KHEDIRA DRAGS A SHOT WIDE!! The Germany international fashions the first shooting chance of the game after some nice interplay between Karim Benzema and Fabio Coentrao only to see his effort drift wide of David De Gea's left-hand post.
Some neat-and-tidy footwork from Shinji Kagawa helps United keep the ball in the centre of the pitch, but Real Madrid's attacking quartet is pressing them urgently and forcing them back into their own half.
AND WE ARE OFF!! Cristiano Ronaldo gets the ball rolling for the home side...
The Champions League classic, "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS", is blaring out over the tannoy system at the Bernabeu. What a tune that is.
The teams are in the tunnel. David De Gea is limbering up his considerable frame and Rio Ferdinand looks confused. Not long to go til kick-off!
The two things that shout at me from those starting XIs has got to be the inclusion of 19-year-old Raphael Varane at centre-back for Real Madrid despite the return from injury of Pepe, and the fact that Nemanja Vidic is nowhere to be seen for Manchester United. The Serb doesn't even make the bench because of injury!
Manchester United (4-4-2): De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Carrick, Jones, Kagawa, Welbeck; Rooney, van Persie
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema
So, how about we take a quick look at the teams ahead of kick-off?
It also gives Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson the opportunity to rekindle their old flame, even if the Scottish coach did leave a bottle of wine intended for Jose on the United plane.
What a night we have in store! One particular highlight will certainly be Cristiano Ronaldo - fresh from a 63-minute hat-trick at the weekend - playing against his old club for the first time since moving to Madrid in 2009.
Good evening one and all and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Champions League last-16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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