The home side should have walked away from the Bernabeu Stadium with all three points in hand, but with some wayward finishing and gritty defense from United, the points ended up shared on the night heading into the return leg next month.
The defending champions will be looking to regain their attacking dominance when they take on sixth-placed Vallecano this weekend, and whilst it is shaping up as a one-sided affair for the home side, Vallecano certainly can't be counted out of this one.
They've beaten the likes of Betis, Sevilla, Malaga and Valencia away from home this year and, given the current form and aspirations of Madrid, could well surprise Jose Mourinho's side with an upset. That said, Madrid should still win here—even if they switch off for most of it—and will enter the fixture as firm favorites given their standing and home-ground advantage.
Who will prevail in this must-watch La Liga clash this weekend? Read on for a preview, as well as all the live stream information and details for this one.
Date: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Where: Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid
Start time: 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. British time)
Live Stream and TV Info
According to Live Soccer TV, coverage of this match will be shown throughout the United States on beIN SPORT, as well as beIN SPORT en Español.
ESPN + Sur will show the match throughout the United Kingdom.
Given how strong Rayo Vallecano have been this season in La Liga, and particularly of late, it's very hard to rule them out from being competitive in this one. They've won six of their past eight matches and, as mentioned above, have performed well away from home throughout the season so far.
But this result will seemingly all come down to how Los Blancos perform here and whether their hearts are truly in the Spanish domestic competition anymore. That might sound harsh, but they cannot win La Liga from Barcelona anymore and will likely still qualify easily for the Champions League next season. Plus, they just came off a tough and physical encounter against Manchester Untied during the week.
Mourinho would be forgiven for resting some players given the home-ground advantage they have here, which could play in the favor of Rayo Vallecano. However, even if that does happen, expect the class of the home side to prevail in this one, with the scoreline perhaps not reflective of the actual match itself.
I'd say a high-scoring affair dominated by Madrid's offense, with a late goal against the run of play making this one seem much closer than it probably ever was.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3, Rayo Vallecano 2
Who do you think will prevail in this all-important La Liga clash?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!