Manchester United Player Ratings V Real Madrid
It was the game the world had been waiting for, and it certainly did not disappoint. Although Madrid dominated possession, it was United who had the better chances on the night.
Sir Alex will definitely be the happier of the two manager's taking that crucial away goal to Old Trafford on March 5. United rode their luck at times but a combination of David de Gea's brilliance and counter attacking prowess give them an excellent chance of making the quarterfinals.
Here' s how United rated on the night...
David De Gea
Biggest game of the youngster's career and many believed a make or break one for the Spaniard. Early game nerves were eradicated with a stunning save from Coentrao who saw a certain goal tipped onto the post. Had no chance with Ronaldo's header but saved brilliantly from Ozil moments after. Came to United's rescue time and time again in what could be a defining moment in the 22-year-old's United career. Rating: 9/10 Man of the Match
Rafael da Silva
United's most improved player was always going to have a tough night against Ronaldo and so it proved. Not many can cope with the ex-United forward and unfortunately for the Brazilian, da Silva firmly fell into that bracket. Showed improvement in the second half especially when having to contend with a yellow card. 5.5/10
Played very deep but was assured at the heart of the defence. Used all his experience so not to get into a running battle with Ronaldo. With Vidic out, Ferdinand stepped up and showed he can still compete at the very highest level. 7/10
Did a decent job keeping Benzema quiet and also provided at nuisance on attacking set pieces. Found himself a little out of position at times but was generally effective throughout. 6.5/10
United's Mr Reliable was very good along the floor, but his lack of height was exploited heavily at the hands of Ronaldo. His headed equaliser was almost uncontested as the left-back could only watch the ball into the net. 6/10
Preferred to Antonio Valencia and asked by Sir Alex to support van Persie. But it was Welbeck who was the toast of Manchester when his glancing header from Rooney's corner gave United the crucial away goal they so desperately needed. Could have had a second but his header drifted agonisingly wide of the far post. Proved an excellent outlet down the wing throughout the game in what was easily his best performance of the season. 8.5/10
Typical no nonsense performance from the 31-year-old who didn't really feature too much past his own halfway line. United were overrun in midfield during the first 30 minutes but came back well in second half as Carrick reverted to a sweeper role which proved more effective. 7/10
Asked to marshall the midfield, the position he performed with much success last season before the injuries begun, Jones did a decent job in negating Alonso's and di Maria's impact on the game. Didn't provide too many attacking options but that's not what Sir Alex wanted on this occasion. 7/10
Struggled to impose himself on the game and was easily muscled off the ball when United needed to keep possession. Should have done better when failing to convert van Persie's cross at the start of the second half. Subbed for Giggs after an hour. 5/10
Must have covered and incredible amount of distance, Rooney put in huge shift at both ends of the pitch. Provided a pin point corner for Welbeck's opener and was an excellent outlet down both flanks. 7.5/10
Who will qualify?
Robin van Persie
Booked early and had a very quiet first half by his standards although that was more to do with Madrid's dominance. Was denied twice in the space of a minute in the second half, firstly seeing his shot tipped against the bar and then not connecting properly when unmarked six yards out. Should have done better with both. 6.5/10
Giggs (for Kagawa)
Brought on to slow the game down and keep possession. Used experience and provided a useful outlet on the counter attack. Had a glorious chance to win it but took a little too long setting himself.
Valencia (for Welbeck)
Provided much needed fresh legs for a tired Welbeck but gave the ball away too cheaply in the final third.
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