Another disappointing night for Manchester United as they were knocked out from the UEFA Champions League by losing 0-1 to Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford in the Round of 16. Renan Lodi scored the only goal just before half-time as Diego Simeone’s side won 2-1 on aggregate after a late draw in the first leg last month.
The two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital in the first leg, with Joao Felix opening the scoring before Anthony Elanga scored a second-half equaliser.
This result also means that the trophy drought of the Red Devils will be stretched to another year, and now it will complete five years. They are already out of the FC Cup and now 20 points behind the league leaders Manchester City in the Premier League table.
United named three changes from Saturday’s thumping victory over Tottenham Hotspur, with Bruno Fernandes coming in to start and Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford dropping to the bench.
United started the match dominantly as they created many chances whenever they had the ball. They were determined to open the scoring. In the 12th minute, the talented youngster Antony Elanga was on the verge of scoring. He connected the low cross from Bruno Fernandes. But his shot was well saved by Jan Oblak.
On the other side, Rodrigo De Paul should have scored one for the Spanish club. But David de Gea produced a great save to deny him.
When the game was nearly 30 minutes, Joao Felix scored the opener for Atletico, but it was ruled out for offside as Marcos Llorente, who passed the ball, was offside.
Atletico scored the decisive goal in the 41st minute. Renan Lodi headed the ball into the net after connecting the cross from Antonio Griezmann. But Manchester United protested as they thought that Antony Elanga was fouled when Atletico grabbed the ball. But the referee Slavko Vincic did not even listen to their protests.
In the second half, United tried their best to score the equaliser. But Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak was on top form in the evening and kept a clean sheet.
United boss Ralf Rangnick was frustrated and disappointed after the game. He also protested against the referee’s decision. On Vincic’s calls, Rangnick added: “I would also say some curious refereeing decisions. I wouldn’t say they were decisive but at least he fell too often for those time-wasting antics.”
Renan Lodi was grateful to Simione for trusting him. “I’m really happy for the opportunity that the coach gave me to play out of my position,” said Lodi, a defender who played as a winger for the game. “I’m a left back, that’s what I do best, but if I’m needed in attack like the last two matches, I’ll do my best to contribute. I’m delighted that I finally had the chance to show what I’m worth.”