Top 10 Conclusions: Real Madrid 1-1 Man Utd

Chris Wright

14th, February 2013


By Chris Wright

1. Manchester United would’ve taken that result before kick-off. While they’re not necessarily in pole position for the Old Trafford leg, with an away goal under their collective belt United are in a much stronger position to squeak through than many – including yours truly – predicted.

2. Speaking of the second leg, it really is wide open and theoretically should be an absolute corker. Roll on 5th March!

3. David de Gea is a truly top-notch ‘keeper, positively brimming with potential, who has had far too much criticism slung his way since moving to England by slack-jawed pundits. His three or four saves last night proved his long term worth…

4. Phil Jones did a pretty decent job of restricting Cristiano Ronaldo, tucking just inside his man all night to stop the Real Madrid forward from cutting inside. You can never guarantee that trying to limit Ronaldo to pot shots from distance will stop him from scoring, but Jones did his job man-marking job… well, “manfully” and by and large kept Ronaldo at bay during open play.

5. Nobody can leap like Cristiano Ronaldo. Excuse the Americanism, but the hang time he got for his goal was just stupid…

6. Real pretty much dominated (60% possession), though that doesn’t mean United played poorly. Despite a fairly attacking starting line-up and an open first half, United employed ‘Helms Deep’ tactics as the match wore on (as seems to be typical of English sides away in Europe) but withstood the pressure amicably.

7. Rooney was out of sorts on the right, where he was deployed to keep an eye on Fabio Coentrao’s bombardiering overlaps. He never quite looked comfortable with his role and made a few tell-tale defensive errors over the course of the night. It’s exactly the kind of thing James Milner usually does for England, but Rooney is far too much of an attacking threat to waste him like that.

8. Nice of these United fans to promote the use of Class A drugs. You hear so much anti-drug sloganeering these days that it was nice to hear the other side of the story for once…

9. Robin van Persie took a lot of flak from the pub crowd for failing to connect properly with his late chance, but a truer connection probably wouldn’t have beaten Diego Lopez, who got out very quickly. Sometimes a fluky scuff is more effective, as RVP came painfully close to proving.

10. Last of all, what a bloody brilliant game. A great night of top tier European football in one of the game’s most awe-inspiring theatres. Encapsulated the very essence of the Champions League.

Any more for any more Pies fans?

Posted in Champions League, Featured, Man Utd, Newsnow, Opinion, Real Madrid, Top 10s & lists

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  1. Mr Sensible says:

    That United banner is great! Can’t argue with that, never done it watching a football game though, that would have been pretty intense doing it last night.

    Rooney was shit.

  2. quebec in your face says:

    I hardly think you can blame ‘slack-jawed’ pundits for what’s been said about De Gea. They’re bang on to be honest – they’ve been saying he’s a great shot stopper but awful at decision making and punching. He pulled off some great saves last night but he also made some pretty awful punches.

    • Chris says:

      @Quebec: It’s not really that kind of criticism we’re talking about, more the endless yodelling of ‘he’s got to be doing better than that’ when De Gea gets his hands on a shot that’s been rocketed at him from 10 yards away and the rebound has pinged to a striker, etc.

      He’s a great GK who has been relentlessly undermined from Day One.

  3. Seán says:

    A “great” keeper? I’ve no doubt he has the potential to be great a few years down the line, but he is by no means “great” at the moment. Surely wouldn’t be in the top 5 keepers in the world at the moment.

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  5. ajm says:

    “Surely wouldn’t be in the top 5 keepers in the world at the moment.”

    In terms of shot stopping %, he’s #4 in Europe at 78% and is #1 in England. He’s committed 1 error which led directly to a goal in the league; Joe Hart, for reference, has had 4.

    His position in world GK is not really important right now. He’s doing a great job for a top team at age 22 (!) but for some reason all you hear about are the negatives. Hopefully the performance yesterday – par for the course, imo – shuts some of the idiots up.

  6. Rob says:

    I would say he’s a great shot stopper but not a great goal keeper. But he’s only 22, he’s still learning.
    I just think it’s funny how the press change go over the top, sort of like how Jack Wilshire is now the new Pele.

  7. Seán says:


    at what point did I say he wasnt good? I’m well aware that hes a decent young keeper. Where are you getting these facts and figures about his shot stopping %?

    Great keepers still plying their today these days: Casillas and Buffon…and not far behind is Cech in my opinion. Keepers that are above De Geas standard…Diego Alves, Marchetti, Lloris, Sirigu…the list goes on. That isnt to say i dont think he can be as good as them on his day, or consistently far better in the future, but at the moment hes a very rough diamond.

  8. Seán says:

    and “His position in world GK is not really important right now” ?? That’s exactly what i commented about…if he’s “great” or not. Might want to reread what I said.

  9. The Ostrich says:

    You’re all blabbering on about how he’s awful and blah blah blah. The world is a results oriented business and hes gonna be chockfull of gold around his neck come the end of the BPL season.

    With that said, I think it’s safe to say that the whole world cannot absolutely wait for the return leg.

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