Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Rafa Otero

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Rafa Otero

Cristiano Ronaldo made his first match against his old club Manchester United a night to remember. The Seleção captain scored in the first half and was a force all night for Real Madrid.

Portugal international Fabio Coentrao was in the starting line-up and also played one of his better games for Real Madrid in the 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Coentrao came close to opening the scoring in the 6th minute of play, when Cristiano Ronaldo took control of the ball on the left side and crossed it in to the box. After taking a deflection, it came to Coentrao who struck it with great velocity, but an outstretched arm of David De Gea helped to deflect it just off the post.

That would not be the last time the two players would infiltrate the United defence. Real Madrid quickly piled on the pressure, but it was the visiting side than broke through.

Danny Welbeck scored off a corner to put the Red Devils out on top. In the 27th minute, Ronaldo struck a free kick from 25 yards away that initially went off Robin Van Persie’s face but the Portuguese winger took the second opportunity and fired it just wide of the United goal.

In the 30th minute, he gave the millions of fans exactly what they wanted to see. Former Benfica star Angel di Maria delivered a beautiful cross into the box. Ronaldo leapt almost three metres into the air over Patrice Evra and struck a header straight into the United goal.

He then fulfilled his promise before the match by not celebrating the goal. Instead, the 28-year-old received contgratulations from his teammates and walked leisurely towards the centre line.

As the first half unfolded, the chances increasingly came Real Madrid’s way. Coentrao put Mesut Ozil in on goal only to have his shot stopped by De Gea. In the closing minutes of the half, Coentrao sent a cross into Ronaldo’s path but the former United idol had his attempt go off the top of his shoulder.

In the second half, the Spanish side continued to dictate the terms. The best chance came in the 62th minute when Sami Khedira fired a cross into the box that Coentrao managed to deflect towards the goal. But for the second time in the match, De Gea made an acrobatic save to deny the Portuguese international.

Ronaldo had a free kick in the 86th minute land just above the bar on top of the netting. In the closing minutes, substitute Luka Modric got the ball to Ronaldo close in on De Gea but defender Phil Jones managed to clear it away from the Portuguese star.

The two clubs will play the second leg at Old Trafford on March 5th. The English side will go into the match with the slight advantage of having an away goal.

Portuguese defender Pepe made his return from injury in this game replacing Xabi Alonso in the 84th minute of play.

Cristiano Ronaldo Scores Against Manchester United


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