By Sonia Panesar, Contributor
On March 5, Manchester United played against Real Madrid in a match highly-anticipated by fans all around the world, with Cristiano Ronaldo playing against his former team—a team that helped nurture him into the player he is today. The match ended with the score 2–1, in favour of Real Madrid.
But the game wasn’t a deserved loss, as both teams put out their best efforts in the first half, leaving the score at 0–0, with Ronaldo having had a great shot at goal but missing. The fire began when Manchester United got a goal from Sergio Ramos at the 48th minute, which caused the crowd to burst with joy. Red fans were furious after Nani received a red card in the 57th minute—something that wasn’t deserved at all. Nani was attempting to stop the ball in mid-air with his leg, and from behind came Alvaro Arbeloa whose chest pounded into Nani’s leg. Without another thought, the referee pulled out the red card and waved it in the air, causing Manchester United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson to furiously run from his seat to the sideline. The Reds tried talking to the referee, but his decision was final.
The joy didn’t last for long as Real Madrid scored only moments after, and sending the pressure back onto Manchester United with a goal from Luka Modric at the 66th minute. Three minutes later, the majestic Ronaldo scored another goal with a post tap-in. Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t seem to be happy with this, calling for a substitute. In the 72nd minute, Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney worked close together, had a great opportunity for a goal, and then missed. The action continued as Carrick and Kaka received a booking each. Lopez made another great save from Giggs across from a short corner to Carrick; however, the header from the goalie saved Madrid. In the 84th minute, there was a change: Anderson came up for Rooney with an attempt to strengthen the midfield
United had quite a few shots at the goal, with two long corner kicks and Wayne Rooney’s very close attempt at goal in the very last minutes of the match. In overtime during the 90th minute, Van Persie had a great chance at goal. He had perfect aim, but Madrid’s keeper pushed it away and sent the ball aside. Madrid’s coach Mourinho decided to walk away before the ref blew the whistle while United didn’t seem to be happy with the results of the match, as they went towards the ref clapping in his face. However, Ferdinand decided to show some sportsmanship and shook the ref’s hand.
In the post-match conference, Mourinho decided to say “the better team lost.” Ronaldo didn’t boast much about his goal, even though it meant something to him as he said, “it was an emotional moment. I can say only one word: unbelievable. The supporters made me feel so shy, so I think in the two games I didn’t play like I play all the time, at the same level. I feel happy because Madrid are through, but a bit sad because United are out.”