Ay, ay, ay, I’m so glad that’s over. I don’t do well with match fear, anxiety, heart palpitations, and the like. Too bad there’s only six days until we find out our next opponent….cue the build up & tension!
What do you think his pre-match, beast mode, song is? Is there a flamenco version of Eye of the Tiger? Ole!
I dont’ think Marcelo ever feels anything but joy & happiness, I don’t see any nervousness in those eyes! It’s not fair, I was in a panic all day, leading up to the match!
Immediately, we saw some good end to end action as both teams worked to figure out their rhythms. We saw a couple of early scares too. Raise your hand if you’ve grown accustom to your heart skipping a beat while watching Real Madrid matches. *Raises both hands* In the 21st minutes, Vidic had a super chance at opening the scoring. Off of a Giggs’ corner, he head his shot straight to the post & the ball was finally stopped by…not DLo, but DLo’s low parts. Whatever gets the job done, I guess….
A few minutes passed and we were still being entertained/frightened by DLo’s goal keeping awesomness. Van Persie charged our goal & forced DLo from the post, to block a double shot. He stopped not only RvP’s cross but also Welbeck’s rebound. Another man that was on point with his defense? Well, that would be Varane, of course! Get it, bebe!
In the 32nd minute, Pipita was the first of the match to hit net, but the whistle was blown for a foul by Sergio before the goal was scored. That thang be disallowed! The lack of goals in the first half was definitely made up for with all the face time Iker got in the stands. He better get face time! If he’s not on the pitch, he still needs to be in sight! Who’s with me??
San Iker shooting DLo eyes of jealously, but looks adorable doing it, & Morata spots his first turban.
Late into the first half, Di Maria became injured while running. He needed to leave the match & we were down to 10 men for three minutes, while Kaka prepared to get in the game.
Coming back from halftime, the pressure was on high, seeing as both sides had yet to score & there was only 45 minutes more to settle this bish. The pressure was on even more after the 48th minute, when Sergio’s attempt to clear a shot ended up in him scoring an own goal. My heart completely sunk, it was at this point that I started to ponder the possibility that the match would end in penalties. Lord knows I have a love/hate relationship with penalties. Seriously, methinks the club needs to consider selling Madridista heart monitors. And maybe an escudo covered oxygen mask….
I just want to know….haven’t we seen enough red cards this season? The card wasn’t for one of our own this time, but nonetheless, I’m still bothered by it. Nani was sent off in the 56th minute, for a high boot to Arbeloa while trying to control the ball. The call definitely seemed harsh, I feel like it should’ve been a yellow. The whole fiasco really dampened the joy of our win, for me, especially since the match really picked up after the sending off. It sucks for Manchester fans, but it sucked for us too when the exact same thing happened to Pepe, the season before last. Watch here. What can you say besides, shit calls happen & will continue to happen.
A game changing substitution was made in the 59th minute, Modric came on for Arbeloa. Seven minutes later, Modric had scored us an away goal. A total smasher. De Gea had nothing on it.
(I had a bit of a dumb moment when watching the goal video. I got a little too excite thinking that there was a woman commentating…then I realized the pitch was altered!)
Benz had been preparing to get in the game, but Modric scored while he was receiving his instructions & it was back to the bench for Benz’s booty. I love his reaction though!
Three minutes later, we had our winner, and it was a fabulous one at that. From Ozi’s superb back heel pass, to Pipa’s whopping cross, topped off with Cristiano’s perfect finish. LOVE. Out of respect for his former team, Crissy didn’t celebrate the goal, but Madridistas everywhere did enough of that for him. Even our boys in the stands couldn’t contain themselves!
That was all from our boys for the night, and it was enough to put us through to the next round. Four goals, all by us, two for us, one for them, and one disallowed. If it wasn’t for DLo, the true Man of the Match, the scoreline surely would have been very different. Hala San Diego!
Post Match Comments
After Real Madrid’s victory at Old Trafford, Mourinho was pleased to go through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but did not hesitate to demand more from his players: “We are happy to go through, but I expected more from my team. The first half was a nil-nil between two teams that knew they were on the limit. The sending-off changed the match a bit, because it changed the flow. But then Manchester United, with ten, were better and created us problems. We were able to score two goals and hold on until the end.” He also spoke about one of the deciding factors of the match: “Modric was crucial because he changed the match and the sending-off also changed the match because they were left a man down.”
Goals from Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo brought home the win at Old Trafford for the Whites, who had to fight until the end. “I know this stadium, the mentality and the culture and I knew that we would suffer until the end. Knowing Ferguson’s style of leadership I knew that they were going to attempt the comeback late in the match. We wanted to control the match, but they won the midfield. Diego Lopez, like De Gea in the first leg for them, was our best player and got us the win”, said the Whites’ coach.
Mourinho went on to highlight the Galician goalkeeper’s performance: “Diego Lopez was great, the best player of the match. If your goalie is the best player, and even more playing with eleven against ten, it means with that you didn’t control the match like you should have, and there were players like Xabi, Khedira, Modric, Kaka … What frustrates me is that Diego Lopez should not be the best player playing against 10. We made changes to give more stability and hoped to have control of the match, but Diego still had to stop what he stopped.”
Modric replaced Arbeloa in the second half and changed the match. “Manchester United had a great match in defense, were very well organised tactically and created us a lot of difficulties. Modric changed the match. He gave us creativity and movement. He was thinking about rapid, vertical movement and changed the flow of the match”, said Mourinho, who also spoke about Cristiano’s return to Old Trafford: “It is never easy to return to a place where you used to play. I’ve felt that with my previous teams. Going back is never easy.”
The Real Madrid coach continued his analysis of the match: “They defended very well with 11 players, they took control in the first half. In the second half, I put on Modric and, when the equaliser came, was going to put on Benzema for Higuain. I was going to risk everything. I’m not saying that if it was 11 against 11 I would have done the same, but the reality of things is that against 10 there were moments of doubt and we helped them moments come about. We were also to blame for the difficulties that they caused us. History is full of teams who have got results with 10 men.”
The Whites’ coach spoke about Nani’s sending off: “I think Ferguson was like I was a couple of years ago about Pepe’s sending off against Barcelona. Pepe’s was worse because it was for simulation and this was for a hard contact that maybe could have been a yellow. The referee decided it was red. We played our match and Real Madrid cannot do anything about what happened. It is easy for me to say that today the best team lost. The first half today was a tactical battle. They began the second half by scoring and with the sending off and a player down they were like it was for us two years ago when we were killed off by Barcelona with one less.”
Mourinho spoke about Manchester United’s complaints about being down to ten players: “I am the first to shout, cry and complain. But we played with 10 in the semi-finals, not in the round of 16 or the quarters. I would say that the best team lost tonight. These things happen in football. We played well for ten minutes after Kaka and Modric came on. They couldn’t deal with them and we clearly dominated the midfield. But then things changed and they made us suffer with ten men.”
When asked about Ferguson’s absence from the press room, he said: “I have not had time to talk after the match, but I was lucky enough to spend 45 minutes with him before the match. It was good and it is always nice to talk to him privately. No one can question his decisions because he is the best. They created us lots of problems and his tactics was perfect.”
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning goal against Manchester United. The Real Madrid player spoke after the match that saw his return to Old Trafford: “I’m happy to win but also sad for Manchester United. I didn’t celebrate the goal but I was happy inside. I have a lot of respect for the support that the fans gave me in my six years in Manchester. The most important thing was to win and we are very happy. I’ve done my job, which was to help Real Madrid win and go through to the quarters. I scored at the Bernabeu and I’ve done it again here.”
The Whites’ forward spoke about how he felt in these matches against his former team: “It is a very strange feeling, a feeling of love, not power. If one day I leave Real Madrid, it will be the same. When I played against Sporting Lisbon I also felt something.” About Nani’s sending off, he said: “I have not spoken to him about the sending off. I have not seen him. These things happen in football and are refereeing decisions.”
Real Madrid managed to fight back and win the playoff after the English team’s first goal. Diego Lopez was one of the stars of the match with his excellent performance. Rated by his manager as “the team’s standout player”, the goalkeeper stated after the clash that: “It’s been an unforgettable night for everyone in a great stadium and against a very difficult team. We’ve shown that we have a chance to win the Champions League. They created a lot of scoring oppotunities despite going down to ten players and we were able to hold on. The teamwork was fantastic and we deserved to win.”
The White’s goalkeeper analysed the match and the team’s successful dynamic: “When it was eleven against eleven they really had the upper hand. We couldn’t really figure out how to reach their goal and they closed down our scoring opportunities. Their losing another player was a bit of a determining factor but we had to score twice and we managed it. This is certainly a week to remember. At a decisive moment in the season we’ve clocked up three important wins against two big teams. It’s a great step forward but there are still more to be taken.”
Diego Lopez is confident that Real Madrid will continue the good work. “We’re very pleased. The team made the most of their superiority once Manchester United were down a player. In matches like these this is one of the ways you win. We have to focus on continuing to work and moving forward.”
Luka Modric was one of the match’s best players. He changed the match when he came on and his goal for Real Madrid opened up the way for the comeback. The Croatian was very happy after the match: “I’m very happy about my goal and for helping the team qualify for quarter-finals.” He also referred to the difficulties of winning here: “I have played lots of times against Manchester United at Old Trafford, but this is my first win.”
His first win against Manchester United could not have come at a better time. The Real Madrid midfielder faced the Red Devils on many occasions during his time at Tottenham, but never managed to win at Old Trafford. “It is very tough to play here. I’ve done it many times and this was my first win against Manchester United.” About Real Madrid’s dramatic opening goal, he said: “It changed the flow of the match and I am very happy to help the team get through to the quarter-finals. I enjoyed it. Although we did not play that well in the first half, we scored two goals in the second half and we went through.”
Kaka replaced Di Maria at the end of the first half at Old Trafford. The Brazilian was pleased that the team got through to the quarters: “The result of the tie is deserved and going through gives us confidence to get the tenth title. We knew the importance of the match, like we did against Barcelona. We have not won anything yet but it is a step forward. I am happy with the team because I know how hard it is to play here and to knockout Manchester United. I’m happy that we managed it. In football you never know what will happen and we still have a chance to win a double.”
The Real Madrid player was asked about Nani’s sending off: “Referees have to decide very quickly and it is hard. Playing with ten is not easy and I don’t know if it was right or not, I’m not sure what happened. I was on the other side of the field and I’d prefer not to say anything. There was also a handball in the area from a shot by Higuain. These things happen in matches and you have to move on.”
Xabi Alonso refered to the sending off of a Manchester United player as a “difficult decision for the referee. But we’ve seen in other matches that it can also be very hard to play against ten players and we played our best after their player was sent off.” Alonso also highlighted the role of Diego Lopez: “Manchester United bore down on us really hard and it was difficult not to break under that pressure, but our goalkeeper did a great job. We knew that this week was key for us, with everything at stake, and it’s been fantastic.”