Cristiano Ronaldo dealt the final blow to his former team despite being missing in action for a long time during the game, and to add salt to injury, Nani was unfairly sent off earlier, which contributed to the downfall of the Red Devils, as their chase for yet another treble was halted abruptly, leaving Sir Alex fuming at the ref after the final whistle, but he should also shoulder part of the blame as he left players like Rooney, Valencia, Young and Kagawa on the bench for such a crucial game. Real Madrid convincingly continue their journey in the CL, while United are left to battle out the EPL and FA Cup, the latter being a match against Chelsea this weekend in yet another showdown.
Real Madrid took control of the proceedings from kickoff, looking more like the home side instead of United, and created the first opportunities, and United responded only after the quarter hour mark, as Vidic saw his header hit the post and then eventually gathered by Lopez in Real’s goal. The match eventually balanced out, with both teams looking to go forward but not being decisive, and while half time loomed, it was a tense sight to see United not score the opener which was really needed for the game to ignite on, but credit to Lopez as he made a couple of saves to keep Real Madrid in.
But it was duly done after 3 minutes into the second half, Ramos scored an own-goal as he met Nani’s low cross while facing his goal for United’s opener. However more dramatic events unfolded on the 56th minute, as Nani, yes, he had his foot high in the air, but he was looking at the air-borne ball coming to him, and never saw Arbeloa coming from the other side, but caught the latter in the chest as he was turning to control the ball. Yellow card seemed more like the conclusion to this action, but only for the ref to brandish the red instead as SAF went ballistic on the sidelines, along with the players. The ref’s inexperience showed off really well here, but once he took out the red there was no way back. It was the opening that Real needed, as United started to drop off deep instead of trying to keep possession of the ball, and paid it dearly as substitute Modric fired a long range effort on the 66th minute, with the ball going in off the post. United were no longer organized as in the first half, and allowed Real more spaces, and Ronaldo added a second three minutes later, as he only had to slide in Higuain’s low cross into a nearly empty net with De Gea beaten, but he was almost apologetic to the home fans as he did not celebrate and had both hands up as a forgiveness gesture. The entrance of Rooney, followed by Young and Valencia had no effect on the course of the game, as the Red Devils had to bow down eventually, with Lopez making another couple of saves to deny them any possible comeback, and being the man of the match in my point of view, with Varane being the other Madrid player who had a very good match in both legs. Good luck for Ronaldo and co. in the competition, while United now have to get a grip on themselves and focus on bringing at least one trophy home this season.