Madrid - Cristiano Ronaldo rescued Real Madrid with a brilliant header against former club Manchester United to salvage a 1-1 draw in Wednesday's heavyweight Champions League last 16 first leg showdown at the Bernabeu.
Real gave the Premier League side a torrid time in the early stages but United took the lead against the run of play in the 20th minute when Danny Welbeck nodded past Diego Lopez from a Wayne Rooney corner.
Portuguese Ronaldo, who became the world's most expensive player when he left United for Real in 2009, levelled 10 minutes later when he rose to send an Angel Di Maria centre arrowing into the corner.
United goalkeeper David De Gea, who earlier tipped a Fabio Coentrao effort on to a post, superbly denied the same player on the hour before Robin Van Persie fluffed a shot when he had the goal at his mercy 18 minutes from time, allowing Xabi Alonso to clear off the line.
The result gives United a slight advantage for the return leg in Manchester on March 5. - Reuters