'We handled Cristiano Ronaldo well,' says Manchester United's Phil Jones

Real Madrid forward saw his chances limited

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The Independent Football

Manchester United defender Phil Jones believes his side defended perfectly against Real Madrid - and in particular Cristiano Ronaldo.

Madrid may have dominated possession at times but United never allowed the home team too much space.

No-one exemplified their spirit more than Jones, who was handed the job of limiting the threat posed by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jones, 20, was given the mammoth task of keeping Ronaldo quiet and, for the most part, duly delivered.

Despite Jones carrying out the job superbly, Ronaldo still managed to score his side's equaliser - which may suggest the quality of the Real Madrid forward.

"I was told a few days ago I would be playing and I knew what I had to do," said Jones.

"He is the main threat for Madrid. The gaffer told me I had to be wary of Ronaldo and if he made runs inside I had to follow him.

"Once or twice he escaped, which was a wake up call because he is so sharp but overall I thought we dealt with it well."

The majority of the Spanish side's chances didn't come from Ronaldo himself, with Fabio Coentrao twice forcing David de Gea into saves and playmaker Mesut Ozil also coming close

"There are other players who can cause you a hell of a lot of problems," said Jones.

"They are a great team and you know they are going to create something. It is about how many chances you are going to give them.

"I thought we limited them to only a few.

"You have to ride your luck at times but we defended really well all over the pitch.

"Now we have to repeat the same performance at Old Trafford."

United's away goal could prove vital as the second leg is already billed to be a spectacular encounter as Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford - the ground where he plied his trade for six years.

However, for all the pressure they had to withstand, United know it could have been even better for them.

Despite the lack of possession and pressure they withstood, United may have room to feel a little short changed with the result.

Danny Welbeck was agonisingly close to securing a brace  before half-time, then after the interval, Robin van Persie failed with the kind of gilt-edged opportunity you would expect him ease past the keeper, but mistimed his volley.

In stoppage time, Van Persie came close again, only for Madrid's Diego Lopez to tip round a shot that was heading for the far corner.

"The lads are disappointed in the changing room because we all felt that we could have scored more than one goal," said Jones.

"With a bit more luck some of those chances might have gone in.

"I suppose it was a bit of a backs-to-the wall job. But the manager said we had to show some more belief in the second half and if Robin's effort had gone in and the one at the end it could have been 3-1.

"Now we have to treat the game as 0-0 really and go out and beat them at Old Trafford."