MAN UTD 1, BAYERN MUNICH 1
Manchester United still dare to believe they can reach the semi finals of the Champions League.
The Reds held reigning champions Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on a night they were predicted to lose heavily.
David Moyes’s side, which has struggled in the Premier League, shrugged off their disappointing domestic form, to produce a vastly-improved display.
They even dared to believe for a time they might head to the Allianz Arena with a lead after Nemanja Vidic headed United in front.
And it was Bayern who were forced to show their resolve battling back to equalise through a goal from Sebastian Schweinsteiger.
Though Bayern will be favourites to progress, United are by no means out of the tie as they bid to avoid losing in the quarter finals of the Champions League to Bayern for a third time in as many meetings.
And the Germans will be without midfield general Schweinsteiger in the return after the goalscorer was sent off in the last minute for collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Wayne Rooney.
United manager Moyes was slightly disappointed not to have emerged victors.
He said: “I am happy with the performance, but a bit disappointed with the result.
“The players gave great effort and great commitment and maybe we ought to have taken more of our chances, but Bayern are a very good side as you saw tonight.”
Moyes added that nobody had given United a chance before the game as they were up against the reigning European champions, but they again showed what they can do on European nights at Old Trafford.
United’s manager also takes confidence from the fact that other English teams have gained positive results in Munich as they must do next week.
Rio Ferdinand and Vidic were reunited at centre back while 40-year-old Ryan Giggs won a place in midfield.
United made a bright start and thought they had taken a third-minute lead when Danny Welbeck found the net.
The joy was short lived, though, as the goal was immediately disallowed as Welbeck had raised his foot dangerously while controlling the ball.
Bayern eventually seized control keeping possession as United began to see precious little of the ball.
Arjen Robben, who early in the game curled a shot just wide, tried again from a similar position only to force a fabulous save from David De Gea diving full length to his right.
United had a great chance to take the lead five minutes before the break when Rooney sent Welbeck clear following a slip by David Alaba to beat.
Welbeck tried to chip Manuel Neuer only to see the keeper make an easy catch as United missed a golden chance to move ahead.
Shinji Kagawa replaced Giggs at the restart as the start to the second period followed a similar pattern to the opening half.
Then out of the blue, Vidic made the all important breakthrough in the 58th minute as he found the net with a glancing header from Rooney’s corner. It was only the second goal of the campaign from the Serb central defender.
Bep Guardiola’s immediate response was to bring on striker Mario Mandzukic in place on Thomas Muller.
It proved a masterstroke as Croatian striker Mandzukic played a key role in Bayern’s equaliser midway through the half as he headed Rafinha’s cross down to Schweinsteiger to shoot into the roof of the net.
Bayern came close to moving ahead for the first time when Robben fired just wide of the upright as Bayern looked for a second goal.
Bayern ended with 10 men, though, after Schweinsteiger’s late dismissal which will be a blow for the Germans in next week’s return.