Atletico Madrid eliminated Manchester United from the Champions League round of 16 with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
After a late stalemate in the first leg last month, Diego Simeone’s team triumphed 2-1 on aggregate thanks to Renan Lodi’s goal right before halftime.
United’s trophy drought will almost definitely extend to five years as a result of Tuesday’s defeat, with Ralf Rangnick’s team already ousted from the FA Cup and 20 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Story of the match
Anthony Elanga, a teenage United forward who became a hero by scoring a last-minute equalizer in the first leg, came close to opening the scoring on Tuesday when his run toward the near post on 12 minutes was rewarded with a low cross from Bruno Fernandes, but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
United goalkeeper David de Gea then made an excellent diving stop to deflect Rodrigo De Paul’s long-range shot.
Midway through the first half, Atletico had the ball in the back of the net when Joao Felix poked it to an empty net at the back post, but it was called offside.
Lodi scored a diving header at the back post after a floating cross from Antoine Griezmann on 41 minutes to give the visitors the lead.
The move came after Atletico reclaimed possession from Elanga, who appeared to have been fouled but had his appeals waved away by referee Slavko Vincic.
United tried for an equalizer in the second half but was unable to re-enter the game, resulting in their sixth elimination in their last eight Champions League knockout matches.
Simeone dashed towards the tunnel when the final whistle blew, and he was pelted with plastic bottles, beverages, and other objects.
“I think we played a very good first half — exactly the way we wanted to play with a high energy level but we couldn’t convert that into one or two goals,” Rangnick said after the match.
“Conceding that counter-attacking goal just before halftime didn’t make life any easier. It was hard in the second half and always interrupted. There was always somebody lying on the floor.”
If he can do it for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, why can’t he do it for Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United? Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid allowed United have plenty of possession but made sure to close down the danger areas for Cristiano Ronaldo and co., and Atleti was lethal when it did have possession.
When Joao Felix’s goal was called back for offside, United’s defense ignored the warning shot, and Renan Lodi’s back-post header on an Antoine Griezmann cross — produced by a sly Joao Felix backheel pass — was too much for Diogo Dalot.
The last 15 min of the game felt like only 5 min of playtime. Atletico wasted time by all means and sorts, derailing any momentum United could garner.
A Simeone masterclass!