Real Madrid's Sami Khedira (L) congratulates team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring a goal against Manchester United during their Champions League soccer match at Santiago Barnabeu stadium in Madrid February 13, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Susana Vera (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Real Madrid had a huge game on Tuesday against Real Madrid and responded with a tremendous 3-1 victory. However, their tilt on Tuesday with Manchester United is far more significant in its scope and importance to Jose Mourinho's legacy with the team. The two teams met back on Feb. 13 and drew 1-1. Since then, the teams have played a number of matches and both still have one tilt remaining before they face off on Tuesday. How have the teams look in the interim?
The Spanish side has played three games since drawing with Manchester. In the first game on Feb. 17, Madrid defeated Rayo Vallecano 2-0 on goals from Sergio Ramos and Morata. On Feb. 23, Los Blanco defeated Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 despite falling behind 1-0 in the 34th minute. Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain provided the tallies for Madrid. In their latest match, Madrid trounced rival Barcelona 3-1 in a game that saw Cristiano Ronaldo score twice. Raphael Varane also scored in arguably Madrid's finest performance this season. Ronaldo has been lethal in 2013 with 16 goals 14 games and will be the determining factor in this match.
Manchester United has played two matches since drawing 1-1 with Madrid and has also won each game. The team took down Reading in the FA Cup on Feb. 18 by the score of 2-1. Nani and Javier Hernandez both scored in that game (both are rumored to be major trading chips for a Ronaldo deal between the two teams.) On Feb. 23, Manchester won 2-0 over last place Reading with goals from Ryan Giggs and Rafael. Robin Van Persie was out for a few games but will be back. The greater concern for Manchester is the return of Phil Jones. He had been ruled out for the game previously, but it seems that he has a major chance at making a return.