Bayern Hold United As Barca Draw

It finished 1-1 at both Manchester United and Barcelona, as Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid both left with crucial away goals in a pair of enthralling UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-legs.
United will travel to Germany with their Champions League hopes still alive after holding the much-vaunted Bayern Munich at Old Trafford after being billed as heavy underdogs.
The first half was a one-sided affair in favour of the Germans in terms of territory and possession. For all of that though, it was United, defending the 18-yard line in numbers and with tenacity, who managed to contrive the best chances. Danny Welbeck promised some early joy when he rammed home a fierce strike from the edge of the box, but the whistle had already gone for dangerous play for a high foot.
That was but a brief interlude, however, in the wave after wave of Bayern attacks, orchestrated by their wing wonders Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Robben curved an effort a yard past the post, then saw another 20-yard strike tipped around the post by David de Gea.
For all Bayern’s superiority, there was always the suspicion that Jerome Boateng was a vulnerable point of weakness to Welbeck’s pace.
The England striker had already hit another firm shot straight at Manuel Neuer before Rooney played a through-ball, Boateng stumbled and Welbeck raced in on goal. Neuer advanced and read Welbeck’s mind as he attempted the chip, leaving Rooney livid and giving his team-mate a blast of his own hair dryer.
Shinji Kagawa was brought in at half-time and, almost immediately, United looked more threatening, with Welbeck and Rooney having greater support in attack and testing the Bayern defence.
A couple of good moves saw United force a corner, which Rooney delivered with perfect pace and accuracy for Vidic to guide a wonderful header into the corner in the 58th minute.
Pep Guardiola responded by sending on Mario Mandzukic for Thomas Muller, and the change paid dividends in the 66th minute as the Croatian striker headed back Rafinha’s cross for Schweinsteiger to finish emphatically into the top corner.
Old Trafford, which had been re-energised by Vidic’s goal, was suddenly deflated and it was Bayern who finished the stronger, with Moyes’ men grateful that with two swerving efforts Robben – who broke United’s hearts at this ground in the 2010 quarter-final, could not this time find the final flourish.
Also, Neymar cancelled out a stunning opening goal by Diego to ensure it ended all 1-1 between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp, their fourth draw of the season – with everything to play for in the Champions League quarter-final second leg next week at the Calderon.


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