Half-Time Report: Real Madrid fail to make breakthrough

Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil battle for the ball on March 5, 2013
© PA Photos
Manchester United are on course to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals after entering the break at Old Trafford goalless with Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have failed to answer Manchester United's away goal in the first half of their Champions League last-16 second-leg tie at Old Trafford.

Danny Welbeck netted in the 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu a fortnight ago to give United a slender advantage ahead of tonight's reverse fixture.

It was the England international, surprisingly preferred to Wayne Rooney in United's attack, who came the closest to adding to the scores in an opening 45 minutes during which the hosts had most of the chances.

After Nemanja Vidic's powerful header cannoned back off the post, Madrid keeper Diego Lopez was fortunate that the rebound struck Welbeck and rolled into his legs on the goalline.

The stand-in stopper enjoyed another slice of luck after the half-hour mark.

He clumsily parried a stinging Robin van Persie shot, but made amends by reacting quickly to block Welbeck's follow-up effort.

Cristiano Ronaldo, returning to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving United for Los Blancos in 2009, was rarely involved in Madrid's forward ventures.

When the visitors did threaten, it was neat one-touch passing from Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria, who was forced off injured and replaced by Kaka as the interval approached, that set up Gonzalo Higuain.

However, the Argentine's bending shot went wide of the far post, and when he did find the target, David de Gea was on hand to deny him with a smart save from a tight angle.

Madrid must score in the second period or they will be eliminated.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Manchester United on February 13, 2013
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