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All to play for, says Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is optimistic about Real Madrid’s Champions League hopes after their 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo is optimistic about Real Madrid’s Champions League hopes after their 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Wednesday.

An enthralling contest saw both sides score a goal apiece in the first half of the last-16 tie, though the Red Devils’ away goal means that they hold a slender advantage in the second leg at Old Trafford.

But Ronaldo refuses to be daunted despite his side needing to score in England, telling reporters post-match: “At Old Trafford we can win, we always have the initiative to try to win.”

“It was a well-played match. Manchester United are very strong defensively, but we created problems for them. Tonight we missed a few goals, but we do not worry. (The tie) is all open.”

The Portugal international scored on the half-hour mark to cancel out Danny Welbeck’s opener but refused to celebrate, a decision he says was born out of his respect and affection for his former club.

“I did not want to celebrate the goal out of respect, as I played there for six years. I grew up there, and I have a special affection (for Manchester United).”

Meanwhile, Mesut Oezil reflected on what might have been for Real.

“We played amazingly,” he told Sky Sports. “We had lots of great chances, me too in the first half. But this is football. I have to compliment the team for our performance. Now it goes on.”

Oezil’s team-mate Sami Khedira claimed Real were unfortunate not to take more from the first leg.

He said: “We had a little bad luck today. All in all we can be satisfied and look forward to the second leg.”

Thu 14 February, 2013
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