As an Arsenal fan, commiserations to Utd, that was a well played match till Nani's stupidity ruined what should have been a victory. As it stands playing the Spanish clubs have become a thorn in Utd's side.
Sir Alex's decision to sit Wayne Rooney down and send out Nani furrowed the brow of many. Madrid had the lions share of the ball as Utd sat deep in a park the bus operation as the opposition telegraphed their desperation for that away goal. But they were quite poor and CR7 in particular was fairly anonymous. One would count a Gonzalo Higuain shot fizzing vaguely close to goal as a half chance.
It was Utd looking threatening on the counterattacks with Danny Welbeck thrusting forward with menace while shackling Xabi Alonso. Ryan Giggs celebrated his 1000th appearance turning in an omniscient performance. He looked like he had burners on his feet, chafing the heel of every Madrid player. Rafael did a superb job nipping CR7's gutbusting runs. To be frank, the former Utd player looked quite over rated. Overall, Real's performance resembled a series of nervous tics with passes and long balls going nowhere. Mourinho looked quite displeased with it all, his face half covered by the open brick barricade.
The match finally burst into life when off a corner Nemanja Vidic powered in a header which hit the upright and Welbeck following up could only react sending it straight back to the sprawled out Diego Lopez. The Real Madrid custodian looks a bit like an accountant but made a number of superb saves including stopping a left footed RVP drive and off the rebound palming Welbeck's effort over the crossbar.
Utd went ahead deservedly just after half time as Rafael cruising down the right found Welbeck. A couple of blocked shots later the ball rolled to Nani running down the left and he slings the ball across goal after turning Varane aside. Welbeck's slight deflection caroms off Sergio Ramos into goal and Old Trafford goes wild. Mourinho looked green contemplating the roasting that awaited from the Marca and the Madrid piranha media. Till Nani gave them the get out of jail free card and his inspired introduction of Luka Modric, languishing on the bench ever since his arrival at the Bernabeu. What is with these protracted and bilious transfer sagas involving millions which result in the player cooling their heels?
From the 58th minute, Utd had to defend a man down and about nine minutes suffered the sight of Modric's 20 yard curler hitting the upright and roll across the goal line. De Gea had given him two inches to work with and the former Spurs man took it superbly. Two minutes later, their misery was complete as Modric connected with Mesut Ozil who sprang Higuain forward in a one- two and the striker's no look cross was improvised into goal by a sliding CR7, who they say leaves the best for the last. Or something equally cliched. No celebration for the former Utd man. Rooney was finally introduced and the men in red improved with his pace and directness but they found Lopez under the crossbar unwilling to give an inch as he kept out RVP, Rooney, Michael Carrick, and Vidic.
Mourinho didn't wait around as somewhere Sir Alex was reaching combustion enough to power the lights in Old Trafford.