Manchester - Under-performing Manchester United have produced a vastly improved display
to hold defending champions Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw in the home leg
of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger cancelled out Nemanja Vidic's opener,
but was then sent off in the dying stages to give United extra hope
ahead of next week's return leg in Munich.
With Bayern having
already successfully defended their Bundesliga title and United
floundering domestically, the English champions were given little chance
of success in the first leg, but they turned in a laudably dogged
performance on a night that stirred old passions at Old Trafford.
Moyes's side defended manfully and after Danny Welbeck had squandered a
gilt-edged opportunity late in the first half, they took a 58th-minute
lead through Inter Milan-bound captain Vidic.
equalised nine minutes later, but United managed to preserve their
unbeaten home record in this season's competition, thereby breathing
fresh life into a hitherto bleak campaign.
Ten points below the
Premier League's top four, United probably need to win the Champions
League to qualify for next season's competition, but their courageous
display suggested that that may not be as fanciful a notion as
The draw also prevented Bayern from setting a
new Champions League record of eight successive away wins, but Pep
Guardiola's side will nonetheless be the favourites to progress ahead of
the return game in Munich.
United set out to contain, with
Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Ryan Giggs in central midfield,
but they had the ball in Bayern's net in the third minute.
showed great skill to flick the ball over Javi Martinez and fire home,
but because the Bayern defender lowered his head in the challenge, the
United forward was penalised for a high foot.
Wayne Rooney gave
United's fans further encouragement when he forced Bayern goalkeeper
Manuel Neuer into a rushed clearance that went out for a throw, but bit
by bit, the visitors took control.
Ribery put a cross marginally too far behind Thomas Mueller, while
Arjen Robben twice threatened after cutting onto his left foot, with one
shot flying wide and the other drawing a flying save from David de Gea.
hosts spent most of the first half watching Bayern string passes across
the face of their penalty area, but in the 40th minute they let a huge
chance to take the lead go begging.
Jerome Boateng's inability to
cut out a through ball from Rooney left Welbeck one-on-one with Neuer,
but he elected for a scooped finish that he miscued, allowing the
Germany number one to make a comfortable save.
pressed on, with Antonio Valencia seeing a shot deflected over, and
although Bayern enjoyed 78 percent of possession in the first half, the
home side were holding their own.
United introduced Shinji Kagawa
for Giggs at half-time and after Schweinsteiger had put a warning shot
over De Gea's bar, the hosts went ahead.
Rooney arced a corner
towards the back post from the left flank and the unmarked Vidic
strained his neck to steer the ball into the bottom-right corner with
the side of his head.
Guardiola responded by introducing Mario
Mandzukic for Thomas Mueller and the move paid swift dividends, with the
Croatian heading down Rafinha's cross for Schweinsteiger to crash an
equaliser into the top-left corner.
An injury to Alexander Buttner
then forced United into a defensive reshuffle, but although Robben
twice went close in the latter stages, Moyes's side held firm.
meanwhile, must contend without the influential Schweinsteiger in
Munich next week, after he was shown a second yellow card for sliding in
on Rooney in the last minute.