Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for the visitors in the 20th minute with a well-taken header from Wayne Rooney's corner which had been fortunately awarded to United. Nevertheless, Welbeck craned back from the goal-line to get his head on the Rooney delivery and in past Diego Lopez to give the Premier League leaders the advantage.
Ten minutes later, however, and Real Madrid were back on level terms when former United star Cristiano Ronaldo equalised with a header of his own which came courtesy of Angel Di Maria's cross and some brilliant hang-time from the Portuguese ace.
Madrid made most of the running throughout the 90 minutes and had a number of scoring opportunities but United gloveman David de Gea was at his best tonight with a string of fine saves.
Later in the match it was Robin van Persie who was wasteful with a couple of glaring chances to win it for United, one which was cleared off the line by Xabi Alonso, whilst Ronaldo's long-range free-kick as only inches wide.
2012/13 UEFA Champions League - Round of 16
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid - 85,454