United, Atletico stay in the race

United, Atletico stay in the race

United, Atletico stay in the race

Manchester United showed great spirit in a 1-1 draw with holders Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal while Atletico Madrid gained the upper hand against Barcelona.

United led at Old Trafford through a Nemanja Vidic header, and while Bastian Schweinsteiger soon got a precious away goal for Bayern, the ailing Premier League champions will be boosted by the nature of their performance against their much-fancied opponents.

Atletico, meanwhile, hold the advantage going into the second leg of their all-Spanish tie against Barcelona thanks to a brilliant away goal scored by Diego Ribas, although Neymar scored to earn the Catalans a 1-1 draw.

At Old Trafford, Schweinsteiger was also sent off for a second bookable offence late in the second half as the defending champions failed to live upto expectations. 

The midfielder had restored parity for the German giants in the 67th minute after a superb header from Vidic had given the hosts the lead from a Wayne Rooney corner in the 58th minute.  

"Congratulations to the team," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told reporters.

"I am satisfied because Manchester United is one of the best teams in the world and that is something we should not forget. 

United's performance was in stark contrast to their recent 3-0 home defeats by arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in a lacklustre EPL campaign.

Although the draw ended United's run of four straight Champions League home wins this season, it was a huge improvement on much of their domestic league form which has left them stranded in seventh place in the table.

Manager David Moyes was satisfied with his side’s performance. 

"I was really pleased with the way we played there was a great atmosphere a great crowd, it was really gutsy, " he told ITV Sport. 

With Schweinsteiger and defender Javi Martinez now suspended for the return, Moyes was asked if he had more belief in winning next week against a side who retained their domestic title with seven matches left and are in the German Cup semifinals.

"Well we have to score a goal because if the score stays as it is, Bayern goes through and we have to do something about it,” Moyes opined. 

Bayern had won their last four matches on English soil in the last 13 months, including two wins at Arsenal, a victory at Manchester City and success in last season's Champions League final when they beat Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

After a scare when United's Danny Welbeck saw a goal ruled out after five minutes for raising his foot too high, Bayern looked capable of extending that winning run, and taking their overall Champions League away record to eight successive wins.

But, for once, the German side, who had scored in their last 60 matches in all competitions, appeared to lose their cutting edge in front of goal.