Leg 1: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Leg 2: Old Trafford
Let’s be honest. Manchester United got the worst draw of the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013 Knockout rounds. But it’s overcoming obstacles like this that make the stuff of legend. You become the best by beating the best.
My last post was about how it won’t be the individuals that will be the key to this tie, but the performance of these 22 players as teams. Specifically, United’s midfield 5 (or 4) will need to rely on smart, organized, and unified team play to stifle Madrid’s counter attack and overcome their high pressure style. I fear that the usual Fergie tactic of turtle up and hit on the counter will not work against Madrid. As we saw recently against Tottenham, United must take the initiative. Madrid have too much speed and too many match winners on the field for United to be chasing the ball.
Today I am going to present the single exception. There are two individuals that do matter, but they aren’t Ronaldo or Van Persie...
It’s going to be the two men standing between the sticks: De Gea and Adan/Lopez.
Real Madrid’s strengths are in the Midfield and their major weakness is in Goal.