Jan Oblak and Jose Maria Gimenez came up with massive performances while Cristiano Ronaldo struggled as Manchester United lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid.
With the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie nicely poised after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw, Manchester United enjoyed a lot of possession in the early stages as Atletico Madrid were happy to sit deep and pick their hosts on the counterattack.
Manchester United had the first big chance of the game when Bruno Fernandes set Anthony Elanga up, but the Swede’s goal-bound effort was saved by Jan Oblak with his face. Minutes later, David de Gea produced a stunning stop to deny Rodrigo De Paul’s strike from a distance.
Joao Felix put the ball into the net after a devastating counter from the visitors, but Marcos Llorente had strayed offside in the buildup. The first goal came four minutes from half-time, as Renan Lodi got on the end of a deep cross from Antoine Griezmann to head the ball home from close-range and send the travelling fans into a frenzy. Bruno Fernandes almost levelled things up close to half-time, but Oblak stood in the way.
The second half saw Diego Simeone’s men put in a typical Atletico Madrid display as they sat deep, allowing Manchester United to have the ball, but not letting anything past them. Jadon Sancho had a decent chance close to the hour mark, but blazed his volley over the bar. Oblak came up clutch again when he pulled off a fine save to stop Raphael Varane from scoring.
Manchester United end the season trophyless for the fifth campaign in a row ? pic.twitter.com/wQkt87MbaA
— GOAL (@goal) March 15, 2022
Ralf Rangnick threw on Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata to spark a comeback. But it was not to be, as Manchester United were sent crashing out of the Champions League with a 1-2 aggregate defeat. It means that the Red Devils will finish a fifth consecutive season without a trophy. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, once again proved their mettle with a dogged and determined display.
Manchester United Player Ratings
David de Gea: 6/10
The Spaniard produced a fine save to tip over Rodrigo De Paul’s effort that was swerving and dipping dangerously. His defence let him down for the only goal of the game on the night.
Diogo Dalot: 5/10
He started well, showing good attacking intent, but always looked suspect whenever Renan Lodi pushed forward. The Portuguese international got sucked infield, leaving the Brazilian open for the match-winner. He needed to show more awareness.
Raphael Varane: 6.5/10
One of the few positives on the night for Manchester United, the summer signing was solid at the back, sweeping up everything that came his way. Varane started the move leading to Elanga’s early chance, and he almost equalised with a bullet header in the second half.
Harry Maguire: 4/10
If anyone can be arsed it's worth watching the Atletico goal & their offside one. Both goals occur because Maguire gets pulled out of position by their forward, then they exploit the space he isn't quick enough to get back to. He just doesn't suit a modern back 4.
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) March 15, 2022
The Manchester United captain got his manager’s backing yet again for this crucial encounter, and the move backfired. He tried to step out of the backline to win possession, but hardly managed to do so, leaving spaces open behind and disturbing the defensive shape. One such moment led to the goal, while he barely looked assured on the ball. Poor.
Alex Telles: 5/10
The Brazilian saw plenty of the ball as he pushed forward regularly, but his crosses lacked the desired venom while some of his set-piece delivery was below par as well. Telles never stopped trying, however.
Bruno Fernandes: 5/10
Reinstated to the lineup at the expense of Paul Pogba, the Portuguese had a couple of bright moments in the first half when he created a chance for Elanga and had a shot saved. He produced little of note apart from that.
Scott McTominay: 5/10
Back after recovering from a calf issue, the Scotsman fared better than he had in the first leg, but ultimately failed to make any meaningful contribution. McTominay was not lacking effort, but did not have the quality to stand up to the Atletico Madrid midfield.
— MateuszTrzpis (@Mateusztrzpis) March 15, 2022
He started brightly and looked full of confidence after his game against Tottenham. Fred showed some neat skills and flicks, made incisive passes, and drove the team forward. He faded after the half-time break before being taken off.
Anthony Elanga: 5.5/10
Picked over Marcus Rashford, the youngster showed a lot of intensity early on and almost scored the opening goal, only to be denied by Oblak’s face. Elanga went down too easily and gave away the ball for the move leading to the goal, while he did not opt to track back once he had lost possession. He had one or two moments in the second half, but did not capitalise.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 5/10
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Cristiano Ronaldo never really got a chance to shine on Wednesday as he was denied any meaningful service. He was forced to drop deep or drift wide in an attempt to get on the ball, which meant he was not a threat in front of the goal.
This is the first time Cristiano Ronaldo will finish a season without a club trophy since 2009-10 ? pic.twitter.com/5pJopgUcNG
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 15, 2022
Jadon Sancho: 6/10
The Englishman had his moments on the ball when he caused Marcos Llorente plenty of problems. However, that did not translate to any goal or assist on the night. He had a decent chance in the second half, but fired his volley into the stands.
Marcus Rashford: 4/10
On for Elanga in the 67th minute, he hardly made any contribution.
Paul Pogba: 4/10
Pogba replaced Fernandes in the 67th minute. He looked out of sync, got his passes wrong and made some fouls.
Nemanja Matic: 5/10
Came on for McTominay. Matic won the ball regularly and looked to drive the team forward.
Edinson Cavani: N/A
Replaced Fred with less than 15 minutes left. Cavani did little to affect the course of the game.
Juan Mata: N/A
A rare cameo replacing Maguire late on.
Atletico Madrid Player Ratings
Jan Oblak: 8/10
Oblak put on a show tonight ? pic.twitter.com/LvwVE3PLe0
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 15, 2022
The Slovenian has had a sub-par season this year and made a nervy start when he hesitated to come out for a cross. However, he grew in confidence as time passed. Oblak made himself big to deny Elanga a goal, and then stopped Bruno Fernandes’ effort close to half-time. The Atletico Madrid stopper made another huge save in the second half to keep Varane out. One of his best displays of the season.
Stefan Savic: 7.5/10
The former Manchester City defender was in his element in his first game at Old Trafford. Savic made crucial interventions throughout to keep the hosts at bay, winning headers and ground duels and making tactical fouls when needed.
Jose Maria Gimenez: 8/10
Gimenez was a doubt heading into the game due to a leg injury he picked up last Friday. But he recovered in time and started at the heart of the Atletico Madrid defence, where he was immovable. Gimenez won everything in the air and his use of possession from the back was also sharp.
Josema Giménez with an absolutely faultless performance for Atlético Madrid at Old Trafford, as the Rojiblancos advance to the Champions League quarterfinals.
El Comandante. ?⚪️?? pic.twitter.com/C7JkGkUy9j
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayHeroes) March 15, 2022
Reinildo Mandava: 7/10
The January signing has had a big impact since arriving, and it showed again on Tuesday as he helped ensure that the defence stayed airtight with his positioning and game-reading. He made a dangerous tackle on Bruno Fernandes in the first half, but the referee waved away United’s penalty appeals. He also won the ball from Elanga to start the move for the goal.
Marcos Llorente: 6/10
Full of energy and intensity out on the right side, the Spaniard got forward well and worked hard defensively, although Sancho gave him a lot of grief. He produced a good cross for Felix in the first half, but had strayed marginally offside. He was lucky to get away without a yellow card which would have seen him suspended for the next game.
Hector Herrera: 7/10
The Mexican international put in an all-action display, going into his challenges with typical aggression and producing several key interventions on the night. His passing also hit the right note on Tuesday as he kept things ticking along nicely.
The Atletico Madrid captain worked hard off the ball as usual and showed his quality in possession whenever he looked to drive forward and exploit the spaces left by the hosts. Not a game-changing display, but it was a solid outing from the Spaniard.
Rodrigo De Paul: 7/10
The Argentine forced David de Gea into action within 15 minutes of kickoff with a lovely effort from distance. De Paul then played a peach of a pass to Felix, leading up to Lodi’s goal. He was again denied by de Gea early in the second period. He also put in the hard yards defensively.
Renan Lodi: 8/10
Renan Lodi scores and celebrates giving Atletico Madrid the lead against Man Utd at Old Trafford.#UCL pic.twitter.com/ikOQt5hr9d
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 15, 2022
The Brazilian had tormented Manchester United in the first leg, and after a shaky start at Old Trafford, he settled into his rhythm and caused Dalot a lot of headaches every time he drove forward. But his most vital contribution came in the 41st minute, when he headed in Griezmann’s cross to make it 1-0 and win the game for his team.
Antoine Griezmann: 7.5/10
Given the nod over Angel Correa, Griezmann justified his selection with a tremendously hard-working display. The Frenchman ran himself into the ground and did his defensive duties diligently to help Llorente out on the right side. The former Barcelona ace set Lodi up for the goal with a fine cross after linking up with Joao Felix.
Antoine Griezmann's game by numbers vs Man Utd:
74% pass accuracy (28/38)
56 total touches
7 duels won
7 ball recoveries
3 tackles won
2 chances created
A tireless performance. ?? pic.twitter.com/6BxPoEbOIY
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 15, 2022
Joao Felix: 6.5/10
Not as lively or threatening as he was in the first leg, but the Portuguese sensation still asked a lot of questions of the United defence. Felix had the ball in the net in the first half, but saw the goal get chalked off for offside in the buildup. He then got the pre-assist for the winning goal with a neat backheel into Griezmann’s path.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: N/A
He replaced Koke for the last ten minutes and carried on from where his captain had left off.
Late sub for Joao Felix as Simeone looked to shut up shop.
Angel Correa: N/A
Stoppage-time substitute for Griezmann.
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