Vidic scoffs at one-track Real Madrid

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic believes his side can exploit Real Madrid's tactical inflexibility in their last-16 Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Football News: Real Madrid vs Man United


Real head to Old Trafford holding a slight disadvantage following their 1-1 draw with United in the first leg of the last-16 tie played at the Santiago Bernabeu.

United will be able to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition should Real fail the find the back of the net, but with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil in their ranks, the Red Devils know they will be in for a real test.

However, Vidic is confident that his side can restrict Los Blancos' attack and claims Real have no "Plan B" should their original tactic not work out.

"When they play against teams who drop deep, they can have a bit of trouble because Real aren't a team that crosses the ball a lot," Vidic told the Sun.

"If you get players behind the ball, it is difficult for them to get through and they have to shoot from distance because they don't have many crosses.

"They don't have many alternatives. They have Ronaldo, who can jump when he is in the box but he's the only one. I don't think the other players are good in the air."

Nonetheless, Vidic credited Real for putting up a good fight in the first leg of the tie but revealed he always knew Jose Mourinho's men could not play at a high intensity throughout the game.

"The first 25-30 minutes were really tough," Vidic reflected. 

"Real were strong and they pressed high up the pitch.

"To be fair, they played with such a high intensity in the first 30 minutes that I knew they could not keep that going much longer. I knew it would drop and that we would create chances. I think it was a good team performance.

"We defended well as a group and we had good speed and skill up front to hurt them, which we showed a few times."

Although United currently have a slight advantage, Vidic has warned his side not to lose focus and expressed his belief that Los Blancos play better away from home.

"This will be a more difficult game," Vidic declared. 

"We are playing at home and are defending a positive result.

"But it is also a dangerous result because they have the ability to hurt with a free-kick or from set-pieces.

"They are so good on counter-attacks but when they are at home, their fans want them to attack all the time and press high. At Old Trafford, though, they will be more relaxed and more dangerous."

Vidic, who missed the first leg of the tie due to a lack of fitness, also admitted he felt gutted at not having been involved in the first leg of the tie.

"I had never played in the Bernabeu and I have to say I was sad because everybody wanted to play in that game," Vidic added.

"The manager had to manage the games and the players and he chose to go with that team and it went well.

"Obviously I had played against Everton three days before, so I knew then I wasn't going to play against Real.

"It would have been a big ask for me to play two games in three days at that stage and I knew that as soon as I stepped on the pitch against Everton.

"I was available, but after so long out of the game, two games in three games was a lot for me and the manager chose to go with the other guys.

"But I feel fit now and I can now manage two games in three days."

And the Serbian international boldly declared his intention to win emulate United's famous treble winning team in 1999 this season.

"I have been here for seven years and people have always spoken about 1999 and the Treble team," Vidic revealed. 

"We of course want to win but I don't think we should be pressured by that.

"We should just focus on this game and see where it takes us.

"It would be great to win it again but it is a big ask, a difficult ask.

"Three trophies? We can do it, but everything has to be the right way.

"We have great memories from beating Chelsea in Moscow but after that we lost two finals which is hard to take. We have a chance this year, though.

"Obviously we have big respect for teams like Bayern Munich and AC Milan, if they go through, because they have big tradition.

"If we can get past Madrid, then we have a chance to be one of those teams who could win the European Cup.

"We will not fear anybody if we go through."

Both United and Real warmed up for the clash in ideal fashion with domestic league victories over West Brom [2-0] and Barcelona [2-1] respectively.

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