Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo remains optimistic about Real Madrid’s prospects of making the Champions League quarter finals after their 1-1 draw against Manchester United in the first leg of their tie on Wednesday.
An enthralling contest saw both sides score a goal apiece in the first half, though the Red Devils’ away goal means that they hold a slender advantage for the second leg at Old Trafford.
But Ronaldo refuses to be daunted despite his side needing to score in England, telling journalists post-match: “At Old Trafford we can win, we always have the initiative to try to win.”
“It was a well-played match. Manchester United are very strong defensively, but we created problems for them. Tonight we missed a few goals, but we do not worry. [The tie] is all open. “
The Portugal international scored on the half hour mark to cancel out Danny Welbeck’s opener, but refused to celebrate, a decision he says was born out of his respect and affection for his former club.
“I did not want to celebrate the goal out of respect, as I played there for six years. I grew up there, and I have a special affection [for Manchester United]."
Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil reflected on what might have been for Los Blancos.
"We played amazingly," he told Sky Sports. "We had lots of great chances, me too in the first half. But this is football. I have to compliment the team for our performance. Now it goes on.“
Ozil`s team-mate Khedira believed Madrid were unfortunate not to take more from the first leg.
He said: "We had a little bad luck today. All in all we can be satisfied and look forward to the second leg.“
And Xabi Alonso targets more goals at Old Trafford.
He added: "We need to go for a win. We can`t approach the second leg thinking about a draw. We want to go to Old Trafford to score goals to have a chance to go through."
Both teams will lock horns once again for the return leg in three weeks, though Madrid have the small matter of two clashes against arch-rivals Barcelona before making the trip to Manchester.