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  • Manchester United 1-1 Bayern Munich, Champions League

United dig deep against Bayern

ESPN staff
April 1, 2014
Nemanja Vidic was unmarked for Manchester United's goal © Getty Images
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Manchester United put on a brave display against Bayern Munich as they battled to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie at Old Trafford.

Nemanja Vidic gave United the lead 13 minutes into the second half, but David Moyes' side were only in front for eight minutes as Bastian Schweinsteiger scored an important away goal for Bayern.

United had the ball in the net after two minutes, but Danny Welbeck was penalised for a high foot after some neat play.

United were under pressure as Bayern dominated possession, with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben linking up well and looking dangerous in the wide positions.

While United were forced to defend on the edge of their penalty area, goalkeeper David de Gea was first tested after 33 minutes when he produced a fine one-handed save to keep out Robben's effort.

However, United were presented with the best chance of the first half, but Welbeck who was clean through on goal failed to finish after squandering his attempt to chip Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

In the second half, Bayern were sloppy with their passing as United pressed their opponents all over the pitch.

Then in the 58th minute, Vidic gave United the lead after heading in Wayne Rooney's corner. The Serb was on hand to head into the far post as Bayern failed to have a player occupying that side of the goal.

United's lead lasted for just eight minutes, as Schweinsteiger fired Bayern level after brilliantly finishing from Mandzukic's header into his path.

Valencia was fortunate not to be sent off following a challenge on David Alaba. Already on a yellow card, the referee deemed the tackle to be a coming-together between the players.

Bayern were not so fortunate moments later, as Schweinsteiger was given a second yellow card and dismissed for a soft foul on Rooney.

There have been some historic encounters between these two sides, but this match will be some way down the list.

United fans could at least be grateful that this was not a home humiliation of the sort Liverpool and Manchester City have recently inflicted on Moyes's team, and which given their record this season looked a distinct threat by Bayern.

The first half was a one-sided affair in favour of the Germans in terms of territory and possession. For all of that though, it was United, defending the 18-yard line in numbers and with tenacity, who managed to contrive the best chances.

Welbeck promised some early joy when he rammed home a fierce strike from the edge of the box, but the whistle had already gone for dangerous play for a high foot - much to United's fury,

That was but a brief interlude, however, in the wave after wave of Bayern attacks, orchestrated by their wing wonders Robben and Ribery.

Robben curved an effort a yard past the post, then saw another 20-yard strike tipped around the post by De Gea.

United's passing was pedestrian to the point of embarrassing, and Old Trafford's growing frustration with Marouane Fellaini came close to spilling over as the tall Belgian struggled with his passing and even found himself out-jumped for headers that he seemed clear favourite to win.

For all Bayern's superiority, there was always the suspicion that Jerome Boateng was a vulnerable point of weakness to Welbeck's pace.

The England striker had already hit another firm shot straight at Manuel Neuer before Rooney played a through-ball, Boateng stumbled and Welbeck raced in on goal. Neuer advanced and read Welbeck's mind as he attempted the chip, leaving Rooney livid and giving his team-mate a blast of his own hair dryer.

Moyes had put his faith in the wise old head of Ryan Giggs in his starting line-up, the last survivor of the famous 1999 final triumph over Bayern and playing in his 141st Champions League match, one short of Raul's record.

But this old head was on old legs and after a mainly-forgettable first half for the 40-year-old, Moyes made a predictable change, bringing on Shinji Kagawa in his place.

Almost immediately, United looked more threatening, with Welbeck and Rooney having greater support in attack and testing the Bayern defence. A couple of good moves saw United force a corner, which Rooney delivered with perfect pace and accuracy for Vidic to guide a wonderful header into the corner in the 58th minute.

Pep Guardiola responded by sending on Mandzukic for Thomas Muller, and the change paid dividends in the 66th minute as the Croatian striker headed back Rafinha's cross for Schweinsteiger to finish emphatically into the top corner.

Old Trafford, which had been re-energised by Vidic's goal, was suddenly deflated and it was Bayern who finished the stronger, with Moyes' men grateful that with two swerving efforts Robben - who broke United's hearts at this ground in the 2010 quarter-final - could not this time find the final flourish.

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the away goal for Bayern Munich © Getty Images
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