Madrid, Feb 14: Cristiano Ronaldo levelled things up for Real Madrid but Danny Welbeck scored the all important away goal for Manchester United in their first leg of the UEFA Champions league last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The two giants of Europe will meet again for the second leg on March 5 at Old Trafford with United clearly having the upper hand with that single away goal which could prove the difference.
The difference between the two sides was not Ronaldo's equaliser but United's keeper David de Gea and Robin van Persie's mis-kick towards the end. The young Spanish stopper was at his best denying Madrid any chance in front of goal. De Gea had not won any derby game during his time with Atletico Madrid but proved to be a top-class goalkeeper this time out.
Madrid were all over United in the opening stages of game with their first chance coming in less than six minutes. Fabio Coentrao shot was heading towards the bottom corner but De Gea's fingertip save moved the ball onto his left-hand post.
Despite all the pressure, United went ahead with Danny Welbeck's header in the 20th minute. Wayne Rooney curled in a superb ball from the corner which Welbeck flicked past goalkeeper Diego Lopez.
But their lead lasted only 10 minutes after Ronaldo equalised with a brilliant header from Di Maria's cross. De Gea had no chance as Ronaldo rose above all head it down towards the bottom corner.
United's defence was all over the place for the rest of the match. De Gea was tested several time by Coentrao, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira. But as they tried to stop Real from scoring, United created their own chances through Robin van Persie.
Lopez was forced to divert Van Persie's shot against the crossbar and he was beaten again by the Dutchman but Xabi Alonso was there to rescue as his goal-line clearance kept Madrid in the tie.
Towards the end, Van Persie nearly scored from a tight angle but his shot was pushed wide by Lopez.