By ANTONY KASTRINAKIS
CRISTIANO RONALDO did not celebrate Real Madrid’s leveller against his ‘beloved’ Manchester United — but he is desperate to knockout the Red Devils.
The Madrid superstar, 28, is fired up ahead of the decisive second leg at Old Trafford on March 5 and is adamant that the Spanish giants will be victorious.
He said: “I didn’t celebrate the goal because Old Trafford is a home where I played for six years, and I arrived there as almost a kid.
“It’s not about not celebrating. I want to win but I respect the people of Manchester.
“If I left Madrid for another team one day, I would not celebrate against Real.
“It was beautiful and emotional to play against my family.
“We created but did not finish off our chances, and this is wide open for the return match.
“We go there to score goals and go through. No big deal.
“We shouldn’t change the plan we have because we always have the initiative and we will try to win at Old Trafford.”
Ronaldo’s towering header from Angel Di Maria’s cross was the only time keeper David De Gea was beaten, although Madrid peppered United’s goal.
The Portugal ace said: “I didn’t see the replay of my goal but I will. They told me it was a beautiful goal.
“This 1-1 is not perfect but it’s a good result.
“It was a good game. United are a very good team defensively and created a few problems for us.
“But I believe Real played better and we deserved to score one or two more goals.”
Sergio Ramos was adamant Madrid always knew they would go for victory in the second leg, so United’s away goal does not put pressure on the Spaniards.
The Real skipper said: “Despite the result we always had in our heads that we’d go to Old Trafford to win and maybe now the result obliges us a bit more to go and do that.
“But also it’s true that if we go there with the same attitude things must go our way.”
History will be stacked against Jose Mourinho’s men because Real have never won a knockout tie in European competition after drawing 1-1 at the Bernabeu in the first leg.
But Ramos insists his side will progress to the last eight.
The Spain star said: “The records and the statistics are there to be broken — and what better team to do it than Real Madrid.”