The man of the match was David De Gea. Real came at him with guns blazing, testing him with long range piledrivers and set pieces obviously having seen him at the receiving end while at their crosstown rivals or more recently through the grapevine with his momentary lapses in the Premiership. But he was brilliant and if by the end of the match he had any fingertips left, he should count himself lucky.
What should have been evident to Jose Mourinho's side after De Gea turned in that performance was that it would take a Barcelona or dare say, Arsenal type of walk the ball into the goal that would win the match. But Real lacked patience and the craft to do so. Instead there were 28 attempts at goal and most of them were from distance.
After a while all that fire and brimstone counterattacking became predictably rote. Which is why Utd are lucky that Barca weren't playing them. In retrospect it took something special to beat De Gea and that was CR7's standing leap header off Angel Di Maria's cross to breach the gap. Michael Jordanesque without the tongue hanging out. That curiously enough turned out to be Real's last potent shot across the bow. All it did was to restore parity after Danny Welbeck's equally fine header from RVP's corner shot Utd into the lead. With each missed opportunity, Mourinho became an agitated and wildly gesticulating curmudgeon.
All the stats favoured Real by a country mile, but its best to remember that RVP had the two best chances to pull off what could have been an epitaph to Mourinho's Madrid career. One hit the crossbar and in the other Xabi Alonso turned into a saviour clearing the ball before it crossed the goal line. Phil Jones can also be included in that category but his body check of Angel Di Maria was more worthy of the NHL and flirted with a penalty type punishment. Instead the German referee, Felix Brych saw nothing to it. More inexplicably, who calls the end to a match before a corner is taken? What blathering nonsense.
The result sees Utd gain a vital away goal and now with Real traveling to Old Trafford, those are pretty nice odds. Kudos to Welbeck who was very impressive and on Real's side Ronaldo was a beast while Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil kept their attack purring.
The video above was the first part. Here is the second part >>