By Greg Robertson
Hello and welcome to Old Trafford where we have England’s Manchester United hosting Spain’s Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League 2013 last-16 action.
They drew 1-1 in the first leg in Spain, and United have the crucial away goal. Are we about to see the world stand still as they take in this cracking match?
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It's all over Real Madrid win and United are out of the Champions League? United fans - thoughts on the Turkish ref? ALL VIDEO IS UP
LIVE COMMENTARY...Manchester United 1 – 2 Real Madrid (agg 2-3)
90+2 MINS: Ohhh Lopez clears a header off the line. That was Vidic again from the corner. He could have had two today. FIVE ADDED MINUTES. VIDEO UP SOON.
87 MINS: Modric off the post! This is hectic! VIDEO UP SOON.
84 MINS: 'OHHHS' are ringing out around the office as first Van Persie nearly gets a chance to slip it past Lopez but it goes to Rooney who smashes it just over the bar. VIDEO UP SOON. Ronaldo other end, as it swings, straight at De Gea.
82 MINS: Guiggs header ohhh and Lopez swats it away! Great effort from Giggs. VIDEO UP SOON.
80 MINS: Nani gets a shot on goal and it fires into a Madrid arm but he never played at it and it was so well struck there was no way to move out of the way from point blank range. No penalty.
77 MINS: A goal will fire up this home side... most of the play in the centre third now and United a feeling the pinch.
72 MINS: Rooney coming on for United... the home side has it all to do, they need to score twice thanks to Real's two away goals.
69 MINS: GOAL RONALDO! He's on the back post to slide and tap it in. Great ball in along the goal face. VIDEO UP SOON. Nani's red card has changed everything. VIDEO UP SOON
66 MINS: GOAL MODRIC! It's all level! Modric just hammered it from distance and it was in off the post. VIDEO UP SOON
64 MINS: Some technical difficulties but they are sorted now. United cleared a ball off their line from the header in the action we missed and then Van Persie had a shot from distance that Lopez got down to save.
54 MINS: Massive clatter as Ramos and Nani collide. Not a huge deal in it as Nani has his foot up and both players are going for the ball! NANI IS SENT OFF! OH MY GOD> VIDEO UP SOON.
52 MINS: Ronaldo needs to get into this and make himself a factor... he's been quiet, frustrated. Dangerous cross right along the floor and right across the face of the goal with no one making a run to meet it. VIDEO UP SOON
48 MINS: Ohhh United could scored again... Welbeck on to Van Persie and then it's somehow kept out! GOAL! Ramos with the own goal!!! Hard luck as it gets a little deflection then on to Ramos and he hammers it into his own net giving Lopez zero chance. Nice cross from Nani. VIDEO UP SOON.
First half summary
- Nemanja Vidic hist post for Units in 19th minute
- Evra and Ramos on yellow cards
- If it stays this way, United are through
HALFTIME: it's 0-0 and if anyone didn't know, should it stay this way United will go through by virtue of the away goal.
45 MINS: Nani takes the ball from Coentrao then beats two... tries to play in Welbeck but he's battling for it under pressure and can't get a great touch. Mourinho has seen enough and is heading up the tunnel. Watch out Real Madrid - oh to be a fly on the wall. ONE MINUTE ADDED.
42 MINS: Less than five minutes to go in teh half and another delightful ball from Giggs fins Welbeck, and a staunch Varane with an insanely well-time challenge. Giggs is running his but off is the young 39-year-old. Ci Mari is going off! Kaka is set to come on. Wow... the challenge earlier on didn't look that serious. Change is made.
38 MINS: Giggs with another great ball and it's Rafael on the move, he's bustled over by Ramos and now is doing a starfish or angel in the penalty area but he was never fouled - hey Rafael, there's no snow mate, o ya feet. Clumsy from Arbeloa at the other end earns him a yellow car after showing the touch of a trampoline and then kicking Evra through frustration and trying to win it back.
35 MINS: From the corner, Vidic is high but Lopez's gloves are just as high and the keeper punches him in the head - with no intention.
34 MINS: Angel Di Maria gets around the back chasing a teasing ball and David de Gea comes for it to block the sot. REAL PUT IT INT HE BACK OF THE NET but the ref's blown for a foul. Van Persie then with a strike and Lopez parries it right to Welbeck ohhh he doesn't take advantage of it! VIDEO UP SOON
29 MINS: There's hardly a chance to pause for breathe and I'm sure some in Old Trafford are turning blue in the face from not breathing. Blue in the face, but not in the heart. Higuain gets the ball with his back to goal and looks to square to Ronaldo and it was heading right for him should Michael Carrick had not intervened. That would have been 1-0 if Ronaldo had got it to feet.
27 MINS: Ronaldo shrugs off Rafael and is dribbling at full flight, sets, aims and pulls the trigger right into Nemanja Vidic. He didn't show it but that must have hurt. And it's those two who tussle again just 30 seconds later as a looping ball is brought down by Ronaldo and Vidic is there to block the shot.
26 MINS: That is great football from Van Persie who sets off Welbeck put Ramos tracks back and manages to time the tackle just as Welbeck was about to shoot. Clever run then by Van Persie has him free on the back post, Nani finds him and RVP tries the miracle volley from behind him. Miskick.
23 MINS: Here's Real with the ball and Ronaldo with some work to do gets in a cross with quick feet back to the midfield and it's a patient build up but comes to nothing of consequence.
20 MINS: Evra gets the first yellow card of the game for a rugby tackle (well nearly) when beaten for pace. We've talked plenty about Real Madrid on the break in this Champions League but just right now it's United posing the most danger from being quick out of their own territory. Giggs wins a corner. Van Persie over it from the right... AWW HEADER OFF THE POST! Then the rebounded from 2 yards and Welbeck is offside. It was Vidic with the header though and United were inches away from taking the lead. Geez he showed some strength to be first to that. VIDEO UP SOON.
18 MINS: United now hitting their straps and it's Nani and Welbeck who combine well, get to the byline but sliding feet halt the delivery.
16 MINS: Van Persie with a great ball from inside his half and plays in Welbeck who's now in a plenty of space, Varane is there like a hare to stall for a bit, then back to Giggs who delivers a delightful ball with the outside of the boot to RVP, taking it on his chest and having a crack before it bounces. The connection and timing were missing but what a build up. This game will open up the longer it goes on. VIDEO UP SOON.
13 MINS: United very, very deep actually. Madrid starting to apply the pressure, mostly through possession. United breaks through Welbeck, Nani taking over and he searches for Giggs at the far post but Varane flicks it behind for the corner. Van Persie delivers but it doesn't clear the first defender.
11 MINS: Ronaldo on the Higuain and he's leaning back and sprays it wide. First shot in anger though. VIDEO UP SOON
7 MINS: Most play taking place in the middle third so far... Real test things right at the back, then along the tail to the right... Evra with a foul and it's a free kick a long way out. Too far for shooting, surely... Di Maria takes it on his chest then looks to cross and wins the corner. Some big timber shifts north. Defended away at the near post.
4 MINS: United holding deep. Pass, pass, pass, Ronaldo with a foot in. Pass, Pass, it spreads left and Ryan Giggs fouls Coentrao. Free kick, 8 yards from the corner of the box. Ronaldo... the boos start up and hisses... smacks it straight into the wall to the absolute delight of Old Trafford's faithful.
1 MINS: Real Madrid with the early ball but haven't used it to apply too much pressure just yet. Giggs down the right flank but it's Evra who plays a searching ball down the left. Easy for Diego Lopez to come from his line to cut it off.
I'm still in shock over Rooney being benched... maybe Ferguson feels he'll be be best served to use him as an impact player. Ferguson and nited chasing the treble and this one is the most critical in that chase so far.
Mourinho has been here before and he's tasted victory and defeat. He looks very calm. Old Trafford has gone nuts in the north-west of England as the Champions League anthem sounds out.
Teams are inside the tunnel at Old Trafford for this Champions League match that could be a final if it wanted to be... if it was written. I've just looked outside and Mourinho was right - the world has stopped for this one!
Ronaldo is back at Old Trafford, the place many believe made him who he is and turned a boy into a man. What fine form his side is in after two straight wins over Barcelona. Wayne Rooney misses out! That's huge knews - but who are we to doubt Sir Alex, the great man and manager he is.
We have our live pictures and this one is set to be a beauty!
See the starting line ups below... the exciting part is that Ryan Giggs is starting - and will get his 100th game cap.
Kick off is not far away in the meantime watch match highlights of the first leg draw between the two clubs.
Manchester United: 1-David de Gea; 2-Rafael, 5-Rio Ferdinand, 15-Nemanja Vidic, 3-Patrice Evra; 16-Michael Carrick, 23-Tom Cleverley; 17-Nani, 19-Danny Welbeck, 11-Ryan Giggs; 20-Robin van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez, Young, Kagawa.
Real Madrid: 41-Diego Lopez; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 2-Raphael Varane, 4-Sergio Ramos, 5-Fabio Coentrao; 14-Xabi Alonso, 6-Sami Khedira; 22-Angel Di Maria, 10-Mesut Ozil, 7-Cristiano Ronaldo; 20-Gonzalo Higuain. Subs: Adan, Pepe, Kaka, Benzema, Albiol, Modric, Callejon.
Football fans around the world – get ready for the earth to stop.
That’s what Rea Madrid coach Jose Mourinho says will happen when his side meets Manchester United in their second leg Champions League last-16 tie at Old Trafford.
It simply doesn’t get any bigger, especially after the two side locked horns on Madrid turf only to produce a 1-all draw.
Mourinho says the world will be watching and the game is big enough to be deserved of a final.
But his side starts to last-16, leg 2 tie behind, courtesy of a Man U’s Danny Welbeck goal.
It will be the first time that Mourhino’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo will play at Old Trafford since he made the move to Real Madrid for £80 million.
That price was justified in the first leg, when Ronaldo climbed high to hammer home a header and get the draw.
And he says that Ronaldo deserves "all the accolades" he receives.
"He's (Ronaldo) fine, as far as I'm aware, I think that he (Sir Alex Ferguson) speaks honestly, I prefer that he speaks honestly about Cristiano (Ronaldo). I think any accolades he gets are more than deserved, and the reception he gets from the crowd will be very well deserved also. I was here in the Premier League when he was playing for Manchester United. I am aware of how well he did and the impact he had at the club," Mourinho says.
Mourinho is excited at the prospect of having a full squad to chose from, apart from goalkeeper Iker Casillas who is still recovering from his hand injury.
Mourinho also says that he imagines that he will still be a football manager for the next 20 years.
"Tomorrow the world will stop to watch this tie. It doesn't look a tie, it looks a final. Lets see which teams arrive at Wembley, but I doubt that the expectation can be bigger than this one,” says Mourinho.
"I think they will be very defensive when we have the ball, and I think it will be the same for us when they have the ball. I think they are a very strong attacking side and we will have to concentrate and defend strongly when they have the ball. Even though we are effectively behind in the scoreline, I know it's only one one but it puts us behind in the tie with the away goal, we will also have to attack and be bold when we have the ball."
Meanwhile both Sir Alex Ferguson and club stalwart Ryan Giggs are looking forward to the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash.
The Premier League leader's, Manchester United, will entertain Spanish giants and are pleased to have the crucial away goal in their pocket.
Since the draw in the first leg, United have stretched their lead in the English Premier League to 15 points, with a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich their most recent result.
Shinji Kagawa became the first player from Asia to score a Premier League hat-trick in that game, with Wayne Rooney adding a stunning fourth to underline his recent goalscoring form.
But Ferguson believes that defence will be key to the result, citing Real Madrid as one of the best counter-attacking teams in Europe.
Ferguson says that his side will have to contain him if they are to win, but believes that they must also focus on the things that they do well.
After failing to make the squad to the Premier League match with Norwich, Ryan Giggs will play some part in the match with Real Madrid in what will be his 1,000th senior appearance for the club.The 39-year-old made his United debut almost exactly 22 years ago - on March 2nd, 1991 - and admits that he could never have imagined that he would reach this number of appearances.
Manchester United also confirmed that Phil Jones will miss the match due to an ankle injury, but Robin van Persie is expected to have recovered from a troublesome hip problem.
"It probably will be the key to the game to be honest with you, because as we know I believe that they're one of the best counter-attacking teams in the country, in Europe sorry. And that showed itself last Tuesday (in the Copa del Rey) in the Nou Camp. They were absolutely stunning on the counter attack. So we've got to find a way of coping with that and also having our own threat in an attacking threat also.
"We expect what you expect when you play against them, a team with (Cristiano) Ronaldo in it. Problems during the night and we have to curtail that as much as we can and as best we can. It won't be easy because he does it every week (plays well) and it's not an accident with the lad. The experience young Rafa (Rafael) had in the first half over in Madrid hopefully helps him because he'll be given the same task again. I don't think it's one we should fear. If we go in worrying about the damage Cristiano can give us, then we'll forget some of the things that we can do ourselves.
"Tomorrow (Tuesday, UKT), he'll be involved a some point whether it's starting or on the bench. I haven't made my mind up but he will be involved and of course his experience in big game occasions will be vital to us."
Ryan Giggs is looking forward to his landmark game should he get game time.
"Well, obviously I'm proud of playing that many games. I think you know, if you set out different goals at the beginning of your career.
“You want to get into the team, then you want to stay in the team, then you want to win things and you never think that you're going to get to a thousand games so yes, I'm proud of what I've done obviously. I've worked hard. I've had a lot of things go for me - the continuity of the manager being here, playing with good players and yes I think as you get older, you take things in a lot more."
"As a European night I don't think you can get any bigger than this one," Ferguson says.
"I think he will have a great reception," Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonsosays. "But after the match starts all the feeling will be just about giving the best for our team."
Despite having seen his star player leave the club, Ferguson had nothing but superlatives for Ronaldo, calling him a "supreme athlete."
"My biggest concern will be if he turns up," Ferguson quipped, adding that United is more focused on its own game plan. "If we go in wondering about the damage Cristiano can give us, then we will forget some of the things we can do ourselves."
It was Ferguson who helped to turn Ronaldo into one of football's most lethal attacking forces during six seasons at United.
When Ronaldo left Manchester in 2009, few would have expected Giggs to still be playing at the highest level four years later.
But the 39-year-old Welsh winger remains at integral part of the team.
"You set out different goals at the beginning of your career," says Giggs, whose latest contract takes him up to the end of next season. "You want to get into the team, then you want to stay in the team, then you want to win things and you never think you are going to get to a 1,000 games.
"I am proud of what I have done. I have worked hard, I have had a lot of things go for me - the continuity of the manager being here, playing with good players."
Ferguson did rest Giggs for the 4-0 rout of Norwich that took the team 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League. But it was only to save him, with Ferguson saying he "owed it to the lad," although a decision is yet to be made on whether he will start or be a substitute.
"His experience on big game occasions will be vital to us," Ferguson says.
Giggs has appeared in four Champions League finals and emerged victorious in 1999 and 2008.
It remains one Ferguson's greatest frustrations in a reign stretching back to 1986 that he has only won the European Cup twice, leaving the club with three successes compared with Madrid's nine.
Winning a 10th is the priority for Mourinho to salvage something from a gloomy Spanish league campaign.
Although Madrid warmed up for the trip to England by beating Barcelona 2-1, the Catalan team is 13 points ahead in the title race.
Although captain Casillas traveled to Manchester, the goalkeeper's broken left hand has not recovered in time to make his first appearance since January.
But spirits are high in the Madrid camp after last week's double success over Barcelona, with a place also booked in the Copa del Rey final by beating the league leaders.
"They were absolutely stunning on the counterattack," Ferguson says. "So we need to find a way of coping with that."
The "clasico" wins have taken some of the pressure off Mourinho, who is constantly linked with filling the Old Trafford hot-seat when the 71-year-old Ferguson eventually retires.
"I'm still the manager here," Ferguson responded to questions on the issue.
Following his memorable sprint down the touchline and knee-slide when his FC Porto side beat United in 2004, Mourinho has pledged to be on his best behaviour at Old Trafford.
"It was my first season playing Champions League football, now I have more than 100 matches," Mourinho says. "I think I can control in a way my emotions. If I lose tomorrow I don't cry, and if I win tomorrow I don't run 100 metres again."