Cristiano Ronaldo scored in his first game against former club Manchester United to give Real Madrid a 1-1 draw in their Champions League round of 16 opener.
Ronaldo, for whom Real paid a world record 80 million pounds ($124 million) in 2009, tied last night’s match at Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium in the 30th minute after Danny Welbeck scored for United, which hosts the return game March 5.
“I played for six years in Manchester. They welcomed me when I was a child and it’s very special to play against them,” Ronaldo, who leads the competition with seven goals, said on UEFA’s website. “We will have chances to score in the second leg. We always try to take the initiative.”
In last night’s other match, Mats Hummels scored in the 87th minute to give Borussia Dortmund a 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk, which had won 16 of its previous 17 home games.
“I am quite satisfied because this is a tough stadium to play in,” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said on UEFA’s website.
United and Dortmund will host the return matches in the two-game series, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals of European soccer’s elite club competition.
United has progressed in 17 of 19 European Cup knockout series in which it’s avoided an opening away defeat, while record nine-time European champion Real has won one of its last five Champions League games in England.
“At this level, these kinds of teams don’t really care if they play home or away,” United striker Robin van Persie told Sky Sports. “We don’t really care, they don’t really care. It’s halftime and we will be ready for the second half.”
Real had a 28-13 advantage in goal attempts as United goalkeeper David De Gea make eight saves, including an early fingertip stop to deflect Fabio Coentrao’s shot onto the post.
United took the lead in the 20th minute as Welbeck headed Wayne Rooney’s corner kick past Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez.
De Gea made another diving save to deny Mesut Ozil and Ronaldo put a rebound wide after his free kick hit the wall. Ronaldo was then on target in the 30th minute as he hung in the air above Patrice Evra and headed in Angel Di Maria’s cross.
United’s Phil Jones looped a header over goal in the opening moments of the second half and De Gea stopped attempts from Ronaldo and Di Maria, who also shot wide.
De Gea then moved across his line to make a foot save against Coentrao at the far post. Van Persie hit a post and, after beating an offside trap, scuffed a shot that was cleared off the line by Xabi Alonso in the 72nd minute.
Ronaldo put a free kick just over the crossbar with five minutes left and Lopez stopped Van Persie’s goal-bound effort with the final kick of the match.
“It is very open for the second leg,” Real coach Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports. “This will go down to the last minute. One-all is not a bad result and we can score more than one goal there.”
Dortmund was on target with 11 of its 17 shots at Donbass Arena, though needed Hummels’s late goal to go back to Germany on even terms.
A moment of silence was held prior to the match for victims of an airline crash at the Donetsk airport yesterday.
Shakhtar President Rinat Akhmetov said in a statement on the club’s website that passengers heading to the game were among those on the flight from Odessa in south Ukraine. Five people died and 12 were injured in the crash, Agence France- Presse reported.
Shakhtar, playing its first competitive game since December with the Ukrainian league on winter break, opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Darijo Srna scored with a free kick. The lead lasted 10 minutes as Robert Lewandowski scored his fifth goal of the competition.
Shakhtar went back in front in the 68th minute as Hummels failed to control a long ball and Douglas Costa withstood pressure from Marcel Schmelzer to shoot into the bottom corner.
Hummels made up for his mistake when he headed home Schmelzer’s corner kick with three minutes remaining to extend Dortmund’s unbeaten away run in all competitions to 14 games.
“We looked a bit foolish ahead of their second goal, but it is important that we are going into the second leg and a 0-0 would see us through,” Hummels said on UEFA’s website.
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