Manchester United produced the most credible performance of David Moyes' troubled reign by holding 10-man Bayern Munich to keep their Champions League hopes alive at Old Trafford.
Captain Nemanja Vidic headed home on 56 minutes to give United a shock lead but Bastain Schweinsteiger's well-taken leveller gives the European champions a slender advantage heading into the second leg next week.
Amid swathes of Bayern pressure Danny Welbeck could have put a different complexion on the tie had his early first half effort stood after being adjudged to have raised his foot or had more conviction been applied to the shot which was clawed away by Manuel Neuer.
Pep Guardiola's team possessed an underlining threat throughout but failed to test David de Gea on a regular basis, giving United hope they can go one better in Munich against a Bayern side who will be without Schweinsteiger after his late red card and the suspended Javi Martinez.
After nervously overcoming Olympiakos, United faced a Bayern side who were unbeaten in retaining their Bundesliga title in record time and possessed a plethora of stars led by Guardiola in search of becoming the first team to retain the European Cup in the Champions League era.
The contrast between both sides was adequately represented in the two line-ups which saw United without the suspended Patrice Evra and injured pair Robin van Persie and Rafael while Bayern's entire eleven possessed winners medals from last season's victory at Wembley over Borussia Dortmund.
Despite overcoming the Greek champions in the last 16, successive 3-0 home defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City pointed towards another difficult evening for Moyes, who endured a fans protest against his tenure during the win over Aston Villa.
Beaten by City in December – their last loss in all competitions - and troubled by Arsenal for periods during their last 16 tie, United had reason to believe they could upset Bayern and inside three minutes the Premier League champions thought they had the breakthrough.
Welbeck slammed home after Antonio Valencia's pass but referee Carlos Carbello adjudged the England forward dangerously raised his foot before finding the net.
Bayern were nevertheless unperturbed and set about asserting their authority with Robben's deflected shot bouncing wide before Phil Jones had to divert the ball behind after the Dutchman's centre.
With the hosts frivolous in possession Bayern were threatening from all angles as the passing game which defined Guardiola's Barcelona team which had beaten United in two European Cup finals started to become the first half's central theme.
But for all Bayern's dominance with the ball, chances were at a premium with De Gea's save from Robben a rare effort on goal.
United began to grow in confidence and should have taken the lead five minutes before the break when Welbeck broke through after Jerome Boateng misjudged Rooney's pass but Neuer stood firm.
Shinji Kagawa's introduction at the break sought to improve United's possession and the Japan international, who had prevailed in all four meetings against Bayern, helped carve out the first chance after the break as Rooney's header was saved by Neuer.
Guardiola's side were unable to recapture their first half dominance in the early stages and as United gained a foothold they took the lead in dramatic fashion as Vidic flicked Rooney's corner in the unguarded far corner.
No sooner did Bayern fall behind they levelled on the night with a critical away goal as substitute Mario Mandzukic took down Rafinha's cross and set up Schweinsteiger who swept the ball on the half-volley high, beyond De Gea.
Though United's authority diminished, Moyes' side were able to restrict Bayern to infrequent sights at goal for the remainder, with Robben's shot wide and Philipp Lahm's teasing cross the closest the defending champions came to taking a lead to Munich.
And their frustration boiled over in stoppage time as goal-scorer Schweinsteiger was dismissed after recieving a second yellow card, rulng himself out of the second leg along with Martinez.