Manchester United drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg. João Félix opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the match with Anthony Elanga equalising in the 80th minute.
United found it hard in Madrid with Atletico attacking them from the first moment of the match. It did well for them as João Félix had opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the match with a fine headed finish which David De Gea was unable to save.
It was all Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano with no fewer than 13 attacks from the home side in the opening 35 minutes, which gave them just four attempts on goal, one on target (the goal they scored), two off target and one blocked.
Harry Maguire was sloppy in possession at times and just did not seem to be the player he rose to be against Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday, which could have been a turning point for him. Victor Lindelöf, playing at right-back this evening, was the stand out defender.
In the final minute of the half, Atletico had a great chance on goal – hitting the crossbar which could have seen them 2-0 up in the match. There was a minute added at the end of the half. Before the whistle for the break, Héctor Herrera was booked for a foul.
United had been sloppy in possession and were not able to put through a worthwhile chance on goal. Atletico had 19 attacks in the half, having six attempts on goal – still one on target (the goal), four off target and one being blocked. It will be big second half for United.
There were no changes at the start of the second half for either team in Madrid. United needed to find a way back into the match and they were very lucky that they only found themselves 1-0 down so far this evening. Luke Shaw was booked for a foul in the 50th minute of the match.
United seemed unable to get their foot in this game no matter how hard they tried. Victor Lindelöf was booked in the 60th minute of the match, which may now see Rangnick make a change with players warming up on the sidelines.
Rangnick made a triple change in the 66th and 67th minutes with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matić and Alex Telles replacing Lindelöf, Pogba and Shaw. In the 75th minute, Anthony Elanga replaced Rashford, who was on a yellow. Fred was booked a minute before.
In the 80th minute of the match, Elanga, who has been on for five minutes, snatched an equaliser in fine fashion. What a player he is becoming at United. Two minutes later, Jesse Lingard replaced Sancho as the final substitution in the match for United.
It all turned out to be a good night for United with Elanga scoring his third goal of the season to save United’s blushes form the first half of the match. United will head back to Manchester knowing what they need to do in order to reach the quarter final of the competition this season.
Atletico 42 attacks compared to United’s 27 with the Spanish side having 13 attempts on goal to United’s nine. Atletico had one on target, nine off with United having two on target and three off. It will be a tough match at Old Trafford in around three weeks time.
David De Gea: Nervous at the start and United conceded in the opening seven minutes. It could have been a tough match had Atleti’s chances hit the net and not the crossbar. Rediscovered his confidence as the game grew though. Should have been tested more. ★★★★★
Victor Lindelof: Played well at times against Atletico. Put in a great block in the first half to deny a chance on goal from inside the box. Was booked in the second half as Atletico were targeting him as the weak link in the right-back position. Replaced by Wan-Bissaka. ★★★★★
Raphaël Varane: Seemed to be the better defender once again. It was a night to forget for United, despite Elanga’s equaliser in the 80th minute. Will be more determined for the clash at Old Trafford but back to the Premier League for him and United. ★★★★★
Harry Maguire: Félix got the better of him in the opening seven minutes, scoring the opening goal of the match. He seemed to find his out of form self for the remainder of the first half but got better in the second. The warning signs were there for him though. ★★★★★
Luke Shaw: Needs to provide more attacking width as United were unable to break forward much in the first half. Defensively, I don’t think this was Shaw’s best performance – not his worst either. But a change was clearly needed after he was booked. Replaced by Telles. ★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: He was sloppy with the ball and his frustration set in once again. Put in a lot of effort though, which was good to see. Some will blame him again though. He found the assist fr Elanga’s goal, which will inspire him ahead of Saturday’s match. ★★★★★★
Fred: Started in the deep area of midfield and was out of his depth there. United need to concentrate on the midfield this summer, especially with Pogba expected to leave. Regressed over time and should play further forward. ★★★★
Paul Pogba: Once again he was one of the best players on the pitch but in the second half, like he has in recent weeks, he tired massively. United definitely need at least one top midfielder in the summer, two would be ideal but also unlikely. Replaced by Matic. ★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Really needs to find some form. It seemed like it was coming back for his a few weeks ago but it has not happened. Had some chances and tried to break forward with and without the ball but was unable to get anything for United. Replaced by Elanga. ★★★★
Cristiano Ronaldo: Frustrated because the service was not there for him. This needs to change for him to be at his best. This was one of his worst performances against Atletico and he will be annoyed by that. Create chances for him and he will score. ★★★★
Jadon Sancho: This was perhaps the match where he was not at his best, like he was in the previous matches. He had many chances breaking forward, both with and without the ball and tried his best on the night. He was replaced by Lingard. ★★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Replaced Lindelöf 66′. Got himself into the game ad created something but needs to be doing a lot more to get his place back in the team. He was dreadful against Leeds but might have done better if he started tonight. ★★★★★★
Nemanja Matic: Replaced Pogba 66′. Added some balance to the midfield. Could have perhaps started, which might have done more than Fred starting, maybe bringing the Brazilian on later in the game could have been better? ★★★★★★★
Alex Telles: Replaced Shaw 67′. Brought some energy to the match. Shaw is in a position that makes his place in the team a doubt. If Telles can perform better when given the chance, Shaw will need to use that as motivation to do much better on the pitch. ★★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Replaced Rashford 75′. Scored the equaliser for United in fine fashion. He is vastly becoming a player that will upset a player already established in this squad. He has confidence, pace, ability and so much more. Rhythm is a dancer, Anthony Elanga. MOTM. ★★★★★★★★
Jesse Lingard: Replaced Sancho 82′. Got stuck in but the game was level when he came on and nothing changed. United tried to win the game but it did not happen for them. Lingard will continue to get few minutes in tis team based on the fact he has provided nothing yet. ★★★★
Goals: João Félix 7′; Anthony Elanga 80′
Assists: Renan Lodi 7′; Bruno Fernandes 80′
Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelöf (Wan-Bissaka 66′), Varane, Maguire, Shaw (Telles 67′); Fernandes, Fred, Pogba (Matic 66′); Rashford (Elanga 75′), Ronaldo, Sancho (Lingard 82′)
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton, Henderson; Bailly, Jones, Dalot; Mata, Hannibal
Bookings: Héctor Herrera 45+1′, Reinildo 63′, Marcos Llorente 77′, José María Giménez 78′; Luke Shaw 50′, Victor Lindelöf 60′, Marcus Rashford 65′, Fred 74′, Alex Telles 83′
Written by John Walker