Atlético held on and succeeded. The Colchoneros won by the smallest of margins against Manchester United in the knockout stages of the Champions League on Tuesday (0-1). A goal from Renan Lodi (41st) and enormous defensive solidarity allowed Diego Simeone’s players to overcome dominating but powerless Mancunians and slip into the quarter-finals after the first leg draw (1-1).

Enterprising but ineffective in the first round, Atlético returned to their fundamentals on the lawn of Old Trafford. Voluntary and dynamic in front of their supporters, the Mancunians, for their part, quickly took the lead in the wake of a Cristiano Ronaldo immediately in sight. Facing Madrid gathered in their half of the field, the Portuguese combined well with his compatriot Bruno Fernandes on the right and Anthony Elanga was served ideally from six meters. The young Swede however sent his recovery in the race at close range on the front of Jan Oblak who was able to divert miraculously (13th).

Champions League

Ronaldo, a hopeless match and a last goodbye?


Decisive Griezmann

Atlético still showed some response with Rodrigo De Paul whose beautiful cross shot from 25 meters on the right forced David De Gea to fly in front of his skylight (16th). If the Red Devils went on the attack with an inspired Fred and in particular author of a sublime little bridge in heel in the zone of truth (20th), they also came up against a compact opposing block. The people of Madrid were rough in the duels like Reinildo who did not go far from committing a fault on Bruno Fernandes in his area (21st).

The Mancunians also claimed a foul from the former Lille after a surly but correct intervention on Elanga (40th). In the wake of this recovery, the Colchoneros turned the ball well and Joao Felix heeled towards Antoine Griezmann for a center to the right of the Mancunian surface. Alone at the far post, Lodi was able to place his header in the back of the net to open the scoring and his counter in C1 this season (0-1, 41st).

completely harmless CR7

Manchester United tried to react as quickly as possible but the impeccable Oblak repelled the axial strike from 20 meters signed Fernandes (45th + 2). On resumption, Elanga was able to tumble to the right of the zone of truth after a heel from the Portuguese playmaker before misadjusting his center shot (46th). Rarely able to make a difference in percussion against a folded defense, Jadon Sancho was able to place a heavy volley at the far post on a cross from Diogo Dalot from the right without managing to find the frame (59th). Grouped in defense, the visitors also placed a good counter but Felix found himself a little short on a cross from Lodi (62nd) and José Maria Gimenez placed his head above the target on the following corner (63rd) .

Ralf Rangnick took matters into his own hands by notably launching Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford (67th) then Edinson Cavani (76th). His team, however, never managed to find the solution. On a free kick from the right, Raphaël Varane placed an excellent header from the penalty spot but Oblak remained imperial to deflect and then even block Cristiano Ronaldo’s scissor which was in fact offside (77th). The center-forward had often made miseries at Atlético in recent years. He showed up in this match but, perfectly taken by the opposing rearguard, ultimately failed to fire a single shot. This had not happened to him in the Champions League for eleven years. The European course of CR7 and Manchester United stops on this false note. That of Atlético continues thanks to old recipes and a hint of additional talent.

Champions League

A “boring and painful” Atlético, a surgical and capital Griezmann


Champions League

João Felix, Griez-magnified