MADRID THROUGH TO THE LAST EIGHT
By: Nhlanhla Ndlovu
The two goal thriller within three minutes gave Real Madrid a 2-1 against victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday Night, in the second leg clash of the last 16 of Uefa Champions league.
The goal by Luka Modric cancelled the own goal that was scored by Sergio Ramos in the early stages of the second half and United were one man down after the controversial red card shown to Nani. Christiano Ronaldo was the hero of the visitors as he scored the winning goal three minutes after the equalizer. Madrid progressed by 3-2 on aggregate score following a one all draw in the first leg.
“Independent of the decision, the best team lost,” Madrid coach Jose Mourinho told ITV. “We didn’t play well, we didn’t deserve to win, but football is like this”.
“I am not sure about the decision (red card decision), but independent of that, the best team lost. I am happy that we are through but I expected more from my team,” added Mourinho who was disappointed by the performance of his team.
It took 11 minutes for both teams to test the each other’s defense. Madrid was the first team to create a chance but Gonzalo Hinguan’s shot went off target in the 11th minute from a pass by Angel Di Maria. In the 15th minute Ramos made a crucial block on Robin Van Persie’s shot to keep the score level.
United was unlucky in the 21st minute as Nemenja Vidic’s shot came off the woodwork and Danny Welbeck fail to score from a rebound. Ramos played a solid role in the defence to stop United in the first half.
Madrid goalkeeper, Diego Lopez made a double save in the 34th minute to stop Van Persie and Welbeck’s shot after the ball came back from goalkeeper’s hands.
Mourinho was forced to make a change as Di Maria got an early knock and he replaced him with Brazilian Kaka just before the half time whistle.
Three minutes in the second half Nani played across the goal mouth trying to find Welbeck which led to an own goal that was scored by Ramos who was under pressure that gave the home side a lead.
Nani’s dismissal for a high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa in 57th minute came as a surprise to everyone and it gave the visitors a chance to dominate the game. Arbeloa was substituted in 59th minute by Modric. Seven minutes on the field Modric in the 66th minute was an answer for Mourinho’s side as he scored a long range equaliser.
Ronaldo gave the visitors a lead for the first time in the game as he slid in a goal, from a low pass from Higuain.
Uniteds’ comeback did not not last long as Pepe came in, in place of Ozil who had little impact in the game, and restored Madrid momentum and kept the lead.
Rooney’s dangerous shot came off the cross bar in the 84th minute and United put another attacking player Antonio Valencia in the 87th minute in a place of Rafael. United goalkeeper made a crucial save in the dying minutes of the game.
In other Champions League encounters, Borussia Dortmund won 2-0 defeating Shakhtar Donetsk as they progress to the quarter-finals by a 4-2 aggregate following a two all draw in the first leg.
Photo: Source-Getty Images