Real Madrid vs. Manchester United: Mesut Ozil Key to Madrid Dominance

Ryan ClutterContributor IIIFebruary 13, 2013

Mesut Ozil will be the key to victory for Los Blancos.
Mesut Ozil will be the key to victory for Los Blancos.Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It’s Cristiano Ronaldo against his old team, Manchester United, in a Champions League bout. 

While everyone is getting excited for the match, there are always keys to watch for.

Xabi Alonso is one yellow card away from a suspension, so he’ll have to play cautiously. United will do their best to force him into making a mistake.

Sir Alex Ferguson knows the type of player Ronaldo is, so there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing an extra man on him for the duration of the match. Ferguson has been known for man-marking the biggest threats on the opposition.

This should leave Mesut Ozil to steal the show. The space that will be in front of him will give Ozil many opportunities to make plays.

Ferguson will put all his focus on containing Ronaldo, but there are too many other pieces on Madrid to mark.

Ozil is a strong passer who has the ability to find a man with no breathing room. Today, he should see some extra room to make plays. 

His quickness off the ball will give him space and leave him the chance to get creative with his play-making abilities.

With the attention that Ronaldo will garner, he may be forced in to being a decoy the majority of the match. 

United will undoubtedly have an eye on Ozil, but there are too many other players for Patrice Evra, Rafael and the rest of the defense to worry about.

When Ozil has the ball at his feet, he can be dangerous for any opponent, and his importance to Madrid goes largely under the radar.

With the attacking corps that Los Blancos possess, there are many ways for Ozil to get the ball to the open man. 

If Madrid is to come out on top of this one, Ozil will have to dominate on the ball and allow his teammates to find open areas. He may just have to find the back of the net, as well.