Concern in Madrid after draw with Manchester United
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo kicks the ball during a Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match against Manchester United at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Wednesday. | AP

There was an air of concern in Madrid on Thursday as a result of Real being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Manchester United, in an eventful Champions League round of 16 first leg clash on Wednesday.

Some of the media in Madrid tried to put a positive spin on the result, but most papers and websites were concerned by the fact that — in order to reach the quarter—finals — the whites need to either win in Old Trafford on March 5, or get a high-scoring draw.

The headline in sports daily Marca was “Up In The Air”, referring to the fact that the high-profile tie could still go either way.

However, the Marca website pointed out that Jose Mourinho’s team “will have the whole season at stake” in the space of just one week, between February 26 and March 5.

On February 26 Real go to Barcelona for the second leg of the Spanish cup semi-finals against Barca, who — the same as United — battled out a 1—1 draw in the first leg in Madrid.

Real will then host Barca on March 2 in their league Clasico, trying to keep intact their slim hopes of retaining the title (they are currently 16 points behind leaders Barca).

Then will come the showdown against United on March 5.

As Radio Marca pointed out on Thursday, “that week will decide whether Real’s season is a complete failure — or whether there is still hope of snatching a trophy.” Marca, and all Spanish newspapers, carried the optimistic comments of Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored Real’s goal on Wednesday.

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