The number of bets against United heading into the mouthwatering Champions League clash with Real would have told you all that you needed to know about the strength of Real Madrid as a force in European club competition this season.
Sir Alex on the other hand was always confident of his troops. He has repeatedly told the media that the current crop of players are among the best he's ever had. Last night was probably one of the reasons as to why we should may be take him a little more seriously.
Manchester United were clearly second best to Real Madrid on the pitch--at least in terms of technical superiority, but there are no marks for that in football.When it comes to clear cut chances of goals, its fair to argue that United had the better ones to kill off the tie in the first leg. RVP had three chances to himself but somehow managed to miss all and then there was the chance that fell to Giggs at the death but the United legend opted to take another touch in lieu of thrashing it past Diego Lopez. It is hopped that those chances do not haunt us come the return leg.
Ultimately though you have to give it up to the boys for going to one of the most intimidating arenas in world football and getting an away goal as well as coming away with a draw. With the return leg on March 5th at home, you would have to say that we have put ourselves in a great position to advance to the last 8 against all odds.
Whether we take it is another matter altogether.
It's been great reading about De Gea getting all the praise that he finally does merit after he put up a world class show last night. Credit must also go to Welbeck, Jones and Ferdinand who put in amazing shifts all night. It has to be said that the manager got the team spot on as we were on point from start to finish. However, our falling back culture when not in possession could haunt us in the return leg. The amount of shots Madrid had at our goal is testament to the amount of space we afforded them. I'd like to see us press them a bit more.
It's sad that we've got to wait till Monday for the next fixture which turns out to be Reading at home in the FA Cup. Till then...
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!
Labels: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE