After all these years Athletico Madrid finally found a way to break the curse of Cristiano Ronaldo and through to the Champions League.
Last night, the final stage of Round of 16 was held where some outstanding matches were played and among them, Athletico vs Manchester United clashed too.
Manchester United fans were eagerly waiting and hoping that red devils might destroy the Spanish side, but unfortunately, things didn’t go as per the plan.
The match wasn’t up to the mark, although looking at the possession side Manchester United dominated but still couldn’t get the win and knocked out of the Champions League race.
Renan Lodi was the man who gave big hope to his side and get Athletico Madrid to the next stage.
Athletico Madrid’s Ronaldo curse finally comes to an end
Manchester United host Athletico Madrid’s night at Old Trafford with the place in champions league quarter-finals. In the first leg, Joao Felix and Anthony Elanga scored for their side to end the leg in the draw. But what happened in Old Trafford no one expected, after the marvelous performance on the weekend against Tottenham Hotspur where Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick.
Manchester United got several chances, they were dominating over the visitors and even in the early minutes Elanga again was about to score the opening goal but it hit the Oblak’s face.
In the 41st minute, Renan Lodi became the big star at Old Trafford and managed to break the deadlock. He was open as no one was defending him and he got the clear chance to head in the ball into the net.
It was a big moment for him and especially for Diego Simeone. Athletico fans went crazy and couldn’t believe what they have witnessed.
Since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid with the champions league trophy in hand, till now he didn’t get the chance to lift the biggest trophy in the European football league.
Manchester United did every possible thing to win the match, throughout the match Ronaldo was a ghost because there was no fear of him in Madrid’s players.
After the final whistle, Manchester United fans couldn’t hold their frustration and anger. They started throwing bottles and objects at the Athletico Madrid manager.
Bottles were thrown on Simeone
Athletico Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone responded after the bottles were thrown at him. Talking to the reporters he said, “No when I came off the pitch, I ran because I was happy and I like to enjoy it in the dressing room.”
“So I don’t know what happened. What you just said, all I was thinking about was getting into the changing room to the dressing room, and I was really happy.”
United was the better side for the first half an hour of the second leg. But once Lodi had scored before the break they rarely looked like getting back into the game.
“We managed to hit them on the counter and hurt them. That gave us a positive result,” added Simeone.
“In the second half, we continued to control the game. And we felt more comfortable we know that our opponent play well on the counterattack, so we tried to reduce spaces. Collectively, there was some great effort put in by our center-backs and it was a collective performance. I didn’t have to make changes because the work was so good collectively today.
“You have to suffer in a game against Manchester United away from home in the Champions League. And once again, we’re in the final eight of this competition which is extraordinary you know after what we’ve done in the league, it’s a fantastic achievement.”
Ralf criticizes referees for not taking action against Athletico Madrid’s player
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick heavily criticizes the referees over Atletico Madrid’s time-wasting. As per him, United was the better side in the first half and it could have been better in the second too if visitor’s players didn’t lie down and wasted time.
He said, “I think we played a good first-half,” Rangnick said. “All those things that we planned to do in the first-half the team did, the only thing we didn’t achieve is to convert that energetic performance into the first goal, and against a team like Atletico you must score the first goal and it’s more important not to concede a goal and we conceded just before half-time.
“That goal, in a transitional moment, I believe it was a foul on Anthony Elanga, the referee and linesman didn’t see it that way. We shouldn’t have been 1-0 down at half-time, we were the better team in the first half. It’s important to score first and even more so against a team like Atletico.
“In the second half, I don’t know if the game was played for more than two minutes without being interrupted by someone lying on the floor, there were some curious refereeing decisions, I wouldn’t necessarily say decisive, maybe the one they scored.
“He (the referee) made it pretty easy for Atletico to do their time-wasting antics and it didn’t make it any easier for us. That’s how they play for the last 10 years, they always play like that. I was not surprised.”
It was a big loss for Manchester United, now they have to perform and gain points in Premier League if they want to compete in the next year’s champions league otherwise they would fall in the Europa League and that would be the first time Ronaldo might enter in it.
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