Real Madrid tied 1-1 with Manchester United in the first leg of the Round of 16 knockout tie in the Champions League. Alex Ferguson said in the post-match interview that the game is in their grasp now.
A header from Danny Welbeck saw United take the lead in the 20th minute. Although their lead only lasted ten minutes as Cristiano Ronaldo equalised around the half-hour mark. Madrid have given a critical away goal to United for them capitalise on at the Old Trafford.
Everything seems to be going against Jose Mourinho at the moment. Reports of dressing room conflicts must have some truth in them as the Galacticos find themselves sixteen points off the top of the La Liga table. Mourinho is even having a hard time handling press conferences.
To add to their problems, Real Madrid will only get three days to prepare for the return leg of the Champions League tie against United on 5th March.
Despite all their efforts, Madrid will have to face Barcelona on 2nd March. Reportedly, they tried to give themselves another day by hosting the match on Friday but El Clasico will be played at 4:00 PM (local time) on Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
That is not it for Real Madrid though. On 26th February, Mourinho’s men have to play a Copa del Rey semifinal – another El Clasico. In the first leg of this tie the two teams drew 1-1.
To sum it all up, in the week before the decisive leg of the United-Madrid match-up, Madrid will play back-to-back El Clasicos – one in La Liga and the other in the Copa.
It is going to be a crucial time for Real Madrid. It could leave Madrid completely bleak or if Mourinho can pull the right strings, it could prove to be an excellent preparation for Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford. Although it seems it is too late for Mourinho to pull the right strings in the Madrid camp.
The kickoff time of the La Liga Clasico is the same as United’s, who are scheduled to play a Premier League match against Norwich City. Which means, the second La Liga Clasico will not be televised in the UK due to the clash of timings.