Madrid continued to keep De Gea on his toes and the Spaniard produced an excellent parry from Ozil after a dream pass from Xabi Alonso over the top. A breath-taking first half offered up one final chance when Ronaldo, who had given Rafael a torrid time throughout the opening period, took aim from 25 yards. Thankfully, it flew just over.
Having survived the first half blitz from Madrid it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal after the restart, with Phil Jones heading over from a corner. It wasn’t long before De Gea was called into action again, though, as he ably dealt with strikes from Ronaldo and Di Maria. He breathed a sigh of relief when another Di Maria effort dropped inches wide of the post with De Gea rooted to the spot.
To say Madrid had got the rub of the green with some of the decisions in the game up to that point was an understatement and only referee Felix Brych knows why Varane was not punished and United were not even given a free-kick when the Madrid defender clearly fouled Evra as he raced towards goal with acres of green to run into not long before the hour mark.
Seconds after Gonzalo Higuain had replaced Karim Benzema, De Gea spectacularly saved with his feet after Coentrao had skidded in at the far post to meet Khedira’s dangerous centre. There was certainly no let-up in the pace of the game as both sides took the ‘you attack, we attack’ approach. Sir Alex saw fit to tighten things up and introduced some experienced legs in the shape of Ryan Giggs, on for Kagawa