Real Madrid vs. Manchester United: What Each Team Must Do for 1st Leg Victory

Mathias AskCorrespondent IIFebruary 12, 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho will renew their rivalry this week.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho will renew their rivalry this week.Clive Mason/Getty Images

Real Madrid and Manchester United will be squaring off in the most exciting matchup of the Champions League round of 16.

It’s another showdown between Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson. In the 13 encounters between these two legends, Mourinho has won six times, Ferguson has won twice and five have ended in a draw.

However, the main storyline heading into this game is Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be facing his former club.

Both teams are coming off convincing wins in their respective leagues and everything seems set for Wednesday’s game. Here’s one thing each team must do to come away with the victory.


Manchester United: Don’t be afraid to attack

Sir Alex knows that it’s not up to his team to control possession in this game. Real Madrid is the home team and needs some insurance before the 2nd leg at Old Trafford.

Still, if the Red Devils spend the entire game banking on their defense, they would be making a mistake. The United defense has been handling its business in the EPL, but it can’t handle a 90-minute occupation of its penalty box at Bernabeu.

This is the best offense Manchester United have had in years. They need to take advantage of it. They have Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney up top along with a solid midfield. Together they can make more than a little trouble for Real Madrid, if Sir Alex dares take a chance on them.



Real Madrid: Get Cristiano Ronaldo going

One important trait that Ronaldo shares with arch-rival Leo Messi is that once he gets hot, the other team should just pack up and leave.

Sevilla learned this lesson the hard way on Saturday when Ronaldo put up a hat-trick and an assist.

He is the team’s offensive engine and the key to Wednesday’s game.

You can be sure that Ferguson will be throwing everything he has at his former star player.

He might even take Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp’s advice  and try to isolate Xabi Alonso. That way Alonso won’t be able to feed Ronaldo the ball.

If Manchester United can stop Ronaldo, Los Blancos have a huge problem on their hand.

Real Madrid’s number one priority should be to free up room for No. 7. Ronaldo should be looking to make runs into the middle so the Red Devils can’t isolate him out on the wing. 

If Ronaldo has a good game, Real Madrid wins. It's as simple as that.