• Champions League

Role in Real revival pleases Modric

ESPN staff
March 6, 2013
Luka Modric made an immediate impact from the substitutes' bench by scoring the equaliser © PA Photos

Real Madrid goalscorer Luka Modric has said he enjoyed his crucial role in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford as the Spanish team went through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Modric, 27, began the game on the bench but was sent on by boss Jose Mourinho in place of right-back Alvaro Arbeloa three minutes after United's Nani had been controversially sent off for a high challenge on the defender.

Madrid were a goal down at that point, but the Croatia international played a key role in turning the game around - firing in a superb 20-yard strike seven minutes after entering the fray and also being involved in the build-up to Cristiano Ronaldo's winner.

"I am very happy about my goal and for helping the team qualify for quarter-finals," Modric told Real Madrid TV after the game. "[The goal] changed the flow of the match.

"I am very happy to help the team qualify. I enjoyed the game. Although we did not play that well in the first half, we scored two goals in the second half and we went through."

The former Spurs midfielder did not taste victory against United during his time at White Hart Lane between 2008 and 2012, and suffered the frustration of losing the 2008-09 League Cup final to them on penalties.

Modric said: "It is very tough to play here [at Old Trafford]. I have done it many times, and this is my first win against Manchester United."

Mourinho said his decision to bring on Modric against United's ten men had helped change the course of the game, which Ferguson's side had enjoyed the better of until that point.

"United had played a fantastic defensive game, very well organised tactically, and they had caused us a lot of problems," the Portuguese noted.

"With 11 players, they had the game under control. With Modric, the match changed. He gave us creativity and movement up front. He changed the flow of the match."

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