Skip to main content

Real held in Champions League blockbuster

By James Masters, CNN
February 14, 2013 -- Updated 1236 GMT (2036 HKT)
After a rocky opening period in which Real hit the post, United shocked the home crowd by taking a 20th minute lead through Danny Welbeck. The England striker rose highest to meet Wayne Rooney's corner and head the ball inside the far post to spark wild celebrations amongst the visiting supporters. After a rocky opening period in which Real hit the post, United shocked the home crowd by taking a 20th minute lead through Danny Welbeck. The England striker rose highest to meet Wayne Rooney's corner and head the ball inside the far post to spark wild celebrations amongst the visiting supporters.
HIDE CAPTION
Welcome break
Jumping for joy
Guess who?
Guess who?
United miss out
Pointing the way
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United in the first leg of its last-16 tie
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored against his former club after Danny Welbeck had put United in front
  • Borussia Dortmund recorded a 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk
  • German side came from behind on two occasions to claim crucial away goals

(CNN) -- Jose Mourinho -- "The Special One."

Alex Ferguson -- "The Hairdryer."

Cristiano Ronaldo -- "The Prodigal Son."

The Oscars aren't until February 24 -- but the latest Champions League blockbuster and its all-star cast didn't disappoint.

The intrigue, the subplots, the glitz and glamor of two European giants steeped in glorious history.

This had everything. The master and the apprentice ably played by Ferguson and Mourinho.

The love affair between the two, the cozy drinks and the bottles of red wine, the terrible children cast as Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

Will Mourinho replace Ferguson?
Tactics: Ronaldo vs. Van Persie
Michael Owen's Liverpool regret?

The best of "frenemies" is how the pair are described. If only Ferguson hadn't admitted to leaving his finest claret on the airplane.

Enter stage left, Real Madrid -- the nine-time winner of the European Cup led by the man who once wore the red of United with such distinction.

Ronaldo fires warning to former club Manchester United

Ronaldo -- all $124 million of him -- is the man who lives a movie star existence, scoring goals for fun, 183 in 180 appearances since his move from Manchester in 2009.

Real, the first club to ever break the $650.5 million revenue barrier in a single year and the most successful club side in the history of European football.

Then of course there's Mourinho, the man constantly linked with a move to Manchester when Ferguson eventually retires.

Suave and sophisticated with his film star looks, Mourinho's departure from England in September 2007 is still mourned to this day. A natural on camera, a wonderful way with words and his ability to charm, made him a favorite with the country's football aficionados.

With Real 16 points behind Barcelona in the Spanish league and Mourinho already stating that his next club will be in England, perhaps this duel with Ferguson could be considered an audition.

'I hate my social life,' says Mourinho

If so, then perhaps it is the elder statesman who holds the aces.

Ferguson has always claimed that United's three European titles are not enough for a club of its magnitude.

Whether his team will add to that collection this year remains open to question, but after securing a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu, United will retain lofty ambitions.

Del Piero adjusting to life down under
Hayatou: Good example key against racism
Hundreds of fans and journalists flocked to the Paris Saint-Germain training ground Wednesday to get a glimpse of David Beckham in action on the practice field. The interest in Beckham's move to the French club has caused huge excitement with the anticipation building ahead of the midfielder's possible debut on Sunday. Hundreds of fans and journalists flocked to the Paris Saint-Germain training ground Wednesday to get a glimpse of David Beckham in action on the practice field. The interest in Beckham's move to the French club has caused huge excitement with the anticipation building ahead of the midfielder's possible debut on Sunday.
Beckham mania
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
\'Box Office\' Beckham thrills French audience 'Box Office' Beckham thrills French audience

This contest had everything.

There were goals -- Ronaldo scoring against his former club -- moments of controversy, world-class saves.

Ronaldo admits Real's Champions League 'anxiety'

It was pulsating, breathless, two heavyweights of the beautiful game slugging it out at the very highest level amid one of the most dramatic settings in world football.

A cauldron of noise and expectation greeted the players and yet, in one single movement of Danny Welbeck's head, the Bernabeu was silenced.

Rooney, on the periphery of the action for much of the night, sent in a corner and the young England striker rose highest to plant a header into the far corner -- only his second goal in 28 games.

First blood to United

So many had predicted Real would use their attacking prowess to blow holes in a United side deprived of warrior-like defender Nemanja Vidic.

But this is Manchester United -- this is a club which knows how to fight, to survive when the odds are stacked heavily against it.

It may not be able to match the nine European titles of Real, but this is a club which has made the final in 2008, 2009 and 2011 on top of its three successes.

Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United: Which is the biggest club?

Real's history and appeal worldwide is well known, but United are catching up both on the pitch and off it.

Juventus midfielder: Stop racism
Celtic had suffered just two home defeats in 23 Champions League games before welcoming Juventus to Parkhead. The Scottish champion saw off the might of Barcelona in the Group Stage with the famous Celtic atmosphere a huge factor in the team's success. Celtic had suffered just two home defeats in 23 Champions League games before welcoming Juventus to Parkhead. The Scottish champion saw off the might of Barcelona in the Group Stage with the famous Celtic atmosphere a huge factor in the team's success.
Celtic cauldron
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
Champions League: It\'s back! Champions League: It's back!
The Real Madrid team poses for a photograph ahead of the second leg of the European Cup semifinal against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1957 with captain Alfredo Di Stefano clutching his side's pennant. The Real Madrid team poses for a photograph ahead of the second leg of the European Cup semifinal against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1957 with captain Alfredo Di Stefano clutching his side's pennant.
The Real deal
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
When Real rained on United\'s parade When Real rained on United's parade

Finacially, United continue to reach new audiences and according to Austin Houlihan, Senior Manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, the club is on track to overhaul the Spaniards.

"Manchester United continue to successfully leverage their global brand," he said following the publishing of the annual Football Money League table.

"The new world-record seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with General Motors will double the revenues the club receives from its shirt partner in the first season of the new deal in 2014-15.

"This combined with new Premier League broadcast deals from 2013-14, which will deliver incremental distributions of between £20 million ($31.7 million) and £30 million ($47.5 million) per club, will help Manchester United push the two Spanish clubs above them, for a top two ranking."

While money matters, there can be no doubt that the biggest bargain was Real's decision to throw piles of cash at United for Ronaldo.

It was his equalizer on 30 minutes which caught the eye, his ability to hang in the air and generate an unfathomable amount of power to head the ball into the net remains a joy to behold.

From there on it was simply wonderful to watch.

Robin van Persie hit the crossbar and had another effort hacked off the line, while the much-maligned David De Gea produced an astonishing performance in the United goal, fending off every effort which came within his grasp.

How Manchester United tried to drown the stars of Real Madrid in 1957

Both teams had opportunities, Real might have even been reduced to 10 men had the referee not afforded Raphael Varane a huge let-off for his foul on Patrice Evra as last man.

The sequel at Old Trafford on March 5 cannot come quickly enough following this latest installment in the fascinating duel between the master and his apprentice.

Mourinho will remember all too well how he danced down the Old Trafford touchline when Porto shocked United back in 2004 on the way to winning the competition. This tie is not over.

"They defended well and the result is open," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "If you ask me percentages, I don't change one single number -- 50/50.

Nigeria's captain Joseph Yobo holds the Africa Cup of Nations trophy, which had been handed to him by South African President Jacob Zuma (L) at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Nigeria's captain Joseph Yobo holds the Africa Cup of Nations trophy, which had been handed to him by South African President Jacob Zuma (L) at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.
'Super Eagles' end long wait for title
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
\'Super Eagles\' end long wait for title 'Super Eagles' end long wait for title
The fabrication of players' ages continues to be a problem for football. One international -- Democratic Republic of Congo defender Chancel Mbemba Mangulu -- has "four different birthdays". The fabrication of players' ages continues to be a problem for football. One international -- Democratic Republic of Congo defender Chancel Mbemba Mangulu -- has "four different birthdays".
The four ages of Mbemba
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
>
>>
Age fabrication controversy in football: The player with \'four ages\' Age fabrication controversy in football: The player with 'four ages'
Substitute Didier Drogba (left) celebrates with Yaya Toure after the midfielder put the Ivory Coast 2-0 ahead near the end of the Africa Cup of Nations Group D match against Tunisia in Rustenburg. Substitute Didier Drogba (left) celebrates with Yaya Toure after the midfielder put the Ivory Coast 2-0 ahead near the end of the Africa Cup of Nations Group D match against Tunisia in Rustenburg.
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast

"We can score more than one goal there. They had two big chances in the second half, but chances out of context because we were chasing the game and they were just defending.

"This is the Champions League and there are two matches, home and away. They did their match and they did it well."

United, unbeaten in the past 16 matches and 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League, will now hope to make home advantage count n the second leg.

"There were a lot of incidents in the game," Ferguson told Sky Sports.

"We had lots of chances in the match and played some good attacking football at times but we did not get the possession we should have had.

"Real won possession without question, but it takes us back to Old Trafford with a great chance.

"It will be very open. I think we'll score at Old Trafford. We have a big job on our hands but it is definitely within our grasp."

Deaths reported in Ukraine plane crash

In the night's other last-16 game, Borussia Dortmund had to twice come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

A minute's silence was held following reports that four people died when a plane made an emergency crash-landing in Ukraine according to the Russian news outlet, state-run RIA Novosti.

The Donetsk-bound charter flight was reported to be carrying football fans from Odessa to Donetsk for the contest.

Once the game did get under way, Shakhtar took the lead through Croatia captain Darijo Srna before Poland striker Robert Lewandowski brought the German visitors level.

Young Brazilian midfielder Douglas Costa restored the home side's lead only for Germany center-back Mats Hummels to level late on.

"It is important that we are going into the second leg level and a 0-0 would see us through," Hummels told reporters.

"Certainly there were a few dangerous moments in defense, but against such an attack-minded team you can never avoid this."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is provoking huge media interest and the hungry attention of Europe's top clubs.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT