Michael Carrick has thanked Cristiano Ronaldo for refusing to celebrate against his former club when he scored Real Madrid's equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
Ronaldo, who spent six years at Old Trafford before his world record £80 million move to the Bernabeu in 2009, headed Real level to leave the Champions League tie finely poised ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford on March 5.
And Carrick, a team-mate of the Portugal winger's for three seasons, told Sky Sports: "I think he respects the club and the fans. He had a great time at the club - fair play to him for being respectful like he was."
The England international said he was disappointed with the way United let in Ronaldo's goal but otherwise happy with their defending against the Spanish champions.
"It's never nice conceding goals anyway, but it was a bit of a simple goal to concede really - a cross and a free header," he added. "But we moved on, and we were strong for the rest of the game."
Phil Jones, who partnered Carrick in the centre of midfield and won plaudits for his unselfish display, believes the key for United will be restricting the number of opportunities Ronaldo gets at Old Trafford.
"He's a fantastic player," Jones said. "You know he's going to create chances at some point in the game, it's just how many he gets. He didn't get too many, and we'll try and do the same at Old Trafford."