Bastian Schweinsteiger struck a fine second-half equaliser but then got sent off as holders FC Bayern München earned a 1-1 draw at Manchester United FC in an absorbing UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg.
This was a tie that Bayern, already crowned German champions, entered as strong favourites yet United belied pre-match assumptions to ask serious questions of the visitors, taking the lead through captain Nemanja Vidić's header just before the hour. Although Schweinsteiger levelled, Bayern ended the match with ten men after he collected a second yellow card for a challenge on Wayne Rooney and they will also have Javi Martínez suspended for next Wednesday's second leg in Bavaria.
It was a contest that offered a reminder of the unpredictability of cup competition as United, off the pace in the Premier League, pushed Bayern all the way. Josep Guardiola's side had 73% of the possession in the first half and at times had United chasing shadows, yet it was the hosts who came closest to scoring before the break.
David Moyes in his programme notes had demanded that United start on the front foot and he got that with Danny Welbeck putting the ball in the net after three minutes, only to see the effort disallowed for a high foot as he took the ball past Martínez.
Before long Bayern had the home team pinned back but United's pace on the counter troubled the visitors and in the 40th minute Welbeck missed a golden opportunity after Jérôme Boateng slipped as the striker broke onto Rooney's through ball. With only Manuel Neuer to beat, Welbeck attempted a cute chip but did not put enough weight on the ball and Neuer saved easily.
At the other end, United were unable to get a kick at times but just about held firm. Vidić made a fine last-ditch intervention to stop Thomas Müller turning in David Alaba's cross while David de Gea dived across goal to turn behind a trademark curling shot by Arjen Robben.
United began the second period with Shinji Kagawa replacing Ryan Giggs and with Marouane Fellaini pushing upfield, Bayern looked a little unsettled. The belief levels soared around Old Trafford as Vidić then delivered the opening goal. Kagawa won the corner, Rooney swung it over and Vidić, though moving away from goal, did superbly well to stretch his neck muscles and direct the ball inside the far corner.
Bayern's defenders will not enjoy reviewing their marking – or lack of it – but nine minutes later they had their equaliser. Robben fed Rafinha down the right and his far-post cross was nodded by substitute Mario Mandžukić into the path of Schweinsteiger who sent a brilliantly controlled half-volley into the roof of the net. Bayern might have grabbed a winner – Robben twice firing narrowly wide – but that would have been cruel on United.