Manchester United drew Real Madrid in the first knockout stage of the Champions League yesterday morning, and whilst United would have preferred to avoid the Spanish champions, the over riding feeling you get from the British press is it is a foregone conclusion that Real Madrid will advance.
Whilst it will be a tough tie for United especially with the return of the incredible Cristiano Ronaldo, it is very much a winnable tie especially with Real Madrid in their current shape.
Here is what Marca had to say about the two going head to head:
“At the time of the draw, the ‘Red Devils’ stand top of the Premier League and with their squad eyeing glory on many fronts. ‘Los Blancos’, on the other hand, have failed to set the world alight this season and lie third in ‘La Liga’, behind Barcelona and Atlético Madrid.”
Tomas Roncero of AS claims Old Trafford is a happing hunting ground for Real Madrid and claims whilst they woud have preferred Schalke, defeating United in 2000 and 2003 means Real Madrid are confident:
“The difficulty of the opponent will not overshadow the optimism of making the quarter final after a big game in the Theatre of Dreams.
“Casillas will not forget that memorable game in 2000 in which we saw an impossible skill from Redondo and a double from Raul that established him as a great goal scorer in Europe.
“These two wins in 2000 and 2003 will help foster the illusion of beating United as a habit.”
Whilst Alfredo Relaño of AS referred to United as a ‘friendly enemy’, speaking of Sir Matt Busby’s side that defeated Madrid in the 60s but reminds us that it is 3-1 in Madrid’s favour and they are the betting favourites:
“Manchester United may lead the Premier League but Real Madrid are the betting favourites. Real are currently struggling but things can change.”
Guillem Balague tweeted his thoughts on the game, claiming it is a very even tie:
“A Manchester United that always give the rival a chance will meet a Madrid that always give the rival a chance. Very equal tie. The second leg at Old Trafford benefits Madrid more as they enjoy playing the counter and will relish spaces left by an attacking United.”
Graham Hunter too claimed the tie was even but said much will change between now and then that will affect the ties outcome:
“Not worth calling now because so much will change before ties. Not least RM fitness and sharpness.”