By Manchester United FansOnline
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Spoils were shared in a frenetic and enthralling first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie between Real Madrid and Manchester United on Wednesday night, with a 1-1 draw the final result. Billed as the tie of the round, the match lived up to expectations in the early exchanges with both sides fielding attacking line-ups and looking to break forward in the first half. With a score draw result after 90 minutes in the Spanish capital, the tie is finely poised but to United's liking according to the latest odds via https://sports.bwin.com/en/sports/4/betting/football with the second leg at Old Trafford on March 5th.
Sir Alex Ferguson's team selection raised a few eyebrows, with Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck operating from wide areas in support of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. In an end-to-end first 20 minutes, a classic tie was on the cards as both teams looked full of attacking intent and the seemed to have the ability to break down their opponents' defensive rearguard.
With Madrid creating chances, the best of which forced David De Gea to push a Fabio Coentrao effort onto his post, United silenced the home crowd by taking the lead after 20 minutes. The travelling English side took advantage of slack Madrid marking at a corner for Welbeck to power home a header and provide an invaluable away goal.
Former Red Cristiano Ronaldo faced his former employers for the first time since moving to the Bernabeu, and along with Angel Di Maria looked dangerous. The Portuguese attacker leveled the scores soon after, rising above United captain Patrice Evra to power home an unstoppable header. Ronaldo was muted in his celebrations as a mark of respect to his former side and in particular ex-boss Ferguson.
The second half did not replicate the to-and-fro of the first, with both teams eager to avoid conceding another goal. Madrid had the lion's share of possession and had chances to take the lead, however De Gea pulled off a number of strong saves; a sprawling effort to deny Coentrao once more with his legs sticks in the memory.
United could have clinched victory in the dying exchanges, with the ball falling to substitute Ryan Giggs in the penalty box after a swift counter, however the Welsh maestro could not capitalise. Robin van Persie also found space at the edge of the area in injury time, but saw his shot pushed round the post by Los Blancos' goalkeeper Diego Lopez.
All in all a draw was a fair result; United will be more happy with the outcome and will now look to kill off the tie at Old Trafford. Madrid will feel that they did enough to win the game, but now depend on a strong away performance if they are to stand a chance of making the quarter-finals. With the game on a knife-edge an enthralling second leg seems guaranteed.
With scores tied after the game in the Spanish capital, the second leg at Old Trafford is going to be the deciding factor in determining which team reaches the quarter-finals and Bwin are giving you the chance to win two tickets to watch Man Utd vs Real Madrid at the 'home of football' on the 5th March.
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