The Perfect Match
Everyone has their own pre-match assumption in regards to the game dubbed as the “Perfect Match”. The Champions League match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at the Santiago Bernabeau is expected to be an absolute spectacle, showcasing some of football’s finest talents.
The friendly rivalry between Ferguson and Mourinho will be rekindled once again, before Mourinho’s impending return to the Premier League and more importantly Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game against his former club since departing in 2009. The sub-plots in this game are endless but in the end only one team can qualify for the quarter finals of Europe’s most prestigious club cup competition.
Robin Van Persie will be expected to continue his fine form this season and lead United’s attacking line with a supporting act boasting of one of the world’s best forwards in Wayne Rooney. Rooney has been in rich vein of goal scoring form of late and relishes big game matches more than most and I believe will be key to United’s chances over the two legs.
It will be a night to remember for two of United’s younger stars in Rafael and Phil Jones who will have the near impossible task of keeping Ronaldo quiet. But then again I don’t think he will be the decider for Real Madrid. As a United supporter my fears lie with the talent of Mesut Ozil.
Call me controversial but I am of the belief that Mesut Ozil is the best playmaker in world football at the moment. He is everything you want in an ideal no.8/no.10. Give him space or better yet give him an ounce of time on the ball and he will create a goal scoring opportunity. And with a prolific talent like Ronaldo to play the ball into, you can guarantee that David De Gea will be tested on his return to Madrid.
Michael Carrick’s job will not be to man mark the German International, the job is simpler in that respect, don’t give the lad any space. Ozil along with Di Maria and Benzema create bounds of space for Ronaldo to run into through their movement.
All four main attacking threats for Real play less conventionally in their respective roles. Benzema is not your ideal number 9, similar to Rooney he is a 9 and a half. Di Maria is not your ideal winger, he is everywhere both defensively and offensively and Ronaldo is not your ideal number 7 he is a false number 7, if that makes any sense. And although Ozil remains the playmaker in chief for Real Madrid, don’t be surprised to see him operating from the right in key moments of the game.
Plain and simply I am truly undecided about United’s chances. Tactically both managers know how to alternate and make key changes to their sides depending on proceedings during the game. Two teams who enjoy playing similar counter attacking styles of football may lead you to believe that the game will be end to end; personally I believe we will be more inclined to expect more of a game of chess. Jose will play his first moves and then Ferguson will proceed to do the same as the game grows on.
My plea to Fergie is to attack, Real Madrid observant of their form this season hate when teams put them on the back foot. But attack and press too much and Jose’s men will pounce. It’s a very tough call but the game will undoubtedly be decided over two legs. A close 2-1 or 1-0 is my shout in favour of Real Madrid in the first leg.
Reece Ravalier (@ReeceRav)
Posted on February 13, 2013, in Editorials, Football, Sport and tagged Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourninho, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Sir Alex Ferguson. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.