Danny Welbeck netted with a great header from Wayne Rooney's left-wing corner to give Sir Alex Ferguson's men a dream start, and although former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for the Spanish giants, this was still a job very well done for the visitors under extreme pressure.
Welbeck's inclusion was perhaps Sir Alex's surprise card given Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney also started, with Shinji Kagawa in the mix as well. Phil Jones and Michael Carrick screened the back four in which Jonny Evans was given the nod over Nemanja Vidic alongside Rio Ferdinand.
Many wondered whether Real would go at United from the off. The answer was a resounding yes. After Sami Khedira dragged a shot wide on two minutes, Angel Di Maria escaped the attentions of Patrice Evra and flashed a 20-yard effort just wide of David De Gea’s right-hand post.
The Spanish stopper was the hero soon afterwards with a superb fingertip save as he turned Fabio Coentrao’s curling drive onto the post after good work by Ronaldo down the left. Raphael Varane then headed over from a free-kick before Mesut Ozil was allowed to run clear to the edge of the area. Michael Carrick came to the rescue with a fantastic block as Ozil took aim.
It was an onslaught of epic preportions, with Ronaldo, Di Maria and Ozil at the heart of it, but having rode their luck at one end, United opened the scoring at the other on 20 minutes. A Rooney corner from the left was met