MANCHESTER United must end a miserable season following a 1-0 defeat at home to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League, Wednesday (16/3) early morning WIB. The final result with a 1-2 aggregate made the Red Devils last chance to win a trophy this season.
Renan Lodi’s only goal ensured the qualification for Diego Simeone’s squad to the Champions League quarter-finals. The hosts, who were supported by their own supporters, were unable to score the equalizer even though in this match they relied on Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We are fully aware that against this team you have to score the first goal yourself,” said United manager Ralf Rangnick, who is fully aware of his own team’s limitations.
This result makes MU no longer have the opportunity to lift the trophy at the end of the season. Ralf Rangnick’s men have been knocked out of the FA Cup, League Cup and have little to say in the Premier League. The Red Devils will also now go five years without winning a trophy.
United have only reached the last eight of Europe’s top club competition twice since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. The club’s last trophy came when they won the Europa League five years ago.
Ronaldo’s return to the club where he first made his name as a superstar should be the difference maker in the quest for trophies. Instead of wanting to be successful again, he gave up and Manchester United have slumped since Alex Ferguson left as manager.
Ronaldo is a player who has consistently been a scourge for Atletico in the Champions League in previous years. He scored hat-tricks for Real Madrid in 2017 and Juventus in 2019.
However, the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer has now been eliminated in the last 16 for the past three years. Playing since the first minute, Ronaldo could not record a single shot.
He recorded 50 touches, 35 passes with 33 of them successful, then three successful dribbles from four attempts. Opta said that this was only the third time in the history of the Champions League, where Ronaldo was made to run and pass on the field for more than 90 minutes.
Previously, a similar incident occurred in the MU match against Panathinaikos in November 2003 and Real Madrid vs Barcelona in May 2011 ago.
United goalkeeper David de Gea says his team weren’t good enough after being knocked out of the Champions League.
“We are really disappointed with the result. It is difficult to express in words how we feel at the moment. It is a very disappointing day for us,” said De Gea.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone could not hide his joy at achieving such an impressive result in Europe.
According to him, the players worked hard to get this result. From goalkeeper to striker, hand in hand showing good performance.
“I’m happy. So many people worked hard that we were able to have these moments. It was a brilliant effort from the players, one of our best games of the season,” said Simeone.
From the start, he was more focused on strengthening defense and looking for gaps to counterattack. He started with a 5-3-2 formation. Sometimes it turns into 5-4-1.
5-4-1 format, making Antoine Griezmann down to the right wing midfielder position. Then on the left is Renan Lodi, leaving Joa Felix alone up front.
It looks like Los Rojiblancos — nicknamed Atletico — are more balanced in defense and attack. In particular, Simeone thumbs up for their goalkeeper, Jan Oblak. “His defense was brilliant and Oblak helped us to stay calm,” he said. (AFP/UEFA/OL-13)
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