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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Football

Return of the prodigal son
Reuters
Manchester, March 04, 2013
First Published: 23:26 IST(4/3/2013)
Last Updated: 02:04 IST(5/3/2013)

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo can expect a rousing Old Trafford welcome on Tuesday before his former Manchester United team-mates use a newfound defensive solidity to try to make those the last Champions League cheers he hears this season.

The last-16 tie between the two European giants is balanced on a knife's edge after last month's 1-1 draw in the first leg and with United holding the tiniest of advantages in the http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/3/05_03_13-metro22.jpgshape of an away goal this week's glamour match could be a tight affair. Matchbox

United go into the game looking a lot more secure at the back than earlier this season with four successive league clean sheets coming at just the right time before being faced with the all-too-familiar talents of fan favourite Ronaldo.

"Early on in the season we were conceding too many goals," United striker Wayne Rooney, who forged a lethal partnership with Ronaldo before the Portuguese left northwest England in 2009, told MUTV.

"We seemed to have coped with that, we're not conceding and we're scoring goals so we're in a great position at the minute. So, hopefully we can continue for Tuesday."

Jones to miss showdown
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Phil Jones will miss Tuesday's Champions League last 16 second leg with Real Madrid due to injury.
When the two teams met in the Bernabeu three weeks ago, with Jones helping to shackle Cristiano Ronaldo from a defensive midfield role.
However, the England international injured his ankle in an FA Cup game against Reading five days later and Ferguson said he would not be able to face Jose Mourinho's side in the second leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Dortmund’s last chance saloon
BERLIN: German champions Borussia Dortmund hope to rescue their season when they take on Shakhtar Donetsk in a Champions League last-16 second leg on Tuesday having lost out on all the other titles so far this term.
After winning back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, as well as the German Cup last year, Dortmund are now left with only Europe's premier club competition to fight for.

Rivals Bayern Munich have all but secured their first Bundesliga title since 2010 with a huge lead and eliminated Dortmund from the German Cup last eight last Wednesday.

"We have never said this is a bad season for us," said midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski. "Obviously we want to win the championship but this season Bayern are very strong.”


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