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Man United defended like a handball team: Robben

Bayern's Arjen Robben slams Manchester club's defensive approach in the first leg of their quarter-final

Manchester: Arjen Robben claims Manchester United defended like a handball team during their 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening.

Man United's Nemanja Vidic (fourth from left) scores the opening goal against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford. Pic/AFP
Man United's Nemanja Vidic (fourth from left) scores the opening goal against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford. Pics/AFP 

The Premier League champions surprised many at Old Trafford by holding the reigning European champions to a draw, with Nemanja Vidic's header having been cancelled out by a Bastian Schweinsteiger strike.

Despite dominating possession and playing the majority of the match in the United half, Bayern struggled to create enough clear chances to claim the away win expected of them.

But Robben insists the result should not be a surprise, given United's defensive approach to the match. "It was not easy, as our opponents didn't leave any gaps," he told the German press.

"We wanted to play football but they tried to stop us. The English were just playing on the counter and have played very defensively, it was almost like in handball.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (in blue) equalises for Bayern Munich at Old Trafford
Bastian Schweinsteiger (in blue) equalises for Bayern Munich at Old Trafford 

"But when you go a goal down you have to be pleased with a draw. 1-1 is a very good result that we can take home with us and then we just have to finish it off next week."

Teammate Toni Kroos added: "It was difficult, we were dominant all the time. It's very difficult to play against a team that consistently has all its players around their own penalty area."

But club captain Philipp Lahm remains confident Bayern will see off United at the Allianz Arena in the second leg. "We wanted to win here, but if you come back from 0-1 down you can be satisfied," he insisted.

"It puts us in a good starting position." The hosts were under the cosh for almost the entire match but captain Vidic grabbed the opening goal 13 minutes into the second half as Europe's premier club competition continued to represent a bright spot in United's otherwise troublesome campaign.

The Premier League champions had won all four of their European ties at Old Trafford this season prior to Tuesday.

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