Lodi on target as Atletico Madrid edge Manchester United

Manchester United’s Champions League campaign ended in the disappointment of defeat by Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford courtesy of Renan Lodi strike.

It left Manchester United with only a Premier League top-four place to fight for this season.

Ralf Rangnick’s side were not short on endeavour but lacked the guile to break down Atletico’s trademark resilience as Renan Lodi far-post header four minutes before half-time sent the Spanish champions into the last eight.

United dominated possession for large portions of the second half but, as they have done so often, Atletico built a wall of defensive resistance – and when they did threaten, goalkeeper Jan Oblak provided the final barrier.

He saved brilliantly from Raphael Varane’s header in front of the Stretford End as United were left to fight for a place in next season’s Champions League in the final weeks of the domestic season.

Simeone does it again

At the final whistle, Atletico coach Simeone showed a neat turn of pace to turn left and sprint off towards an infuriated Stretford End, straight down the tunnel without a backwards glance, pelted with objects and drinks as he disappeared from view.

Behind him, Manchester United players and fans were left with a familiar feeling of having the rug pulled out from under them by Simeone – and by the Atletico side he has drilled so fiercely and with such discipline.

Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp felt exactly the same after Atletico won at Anfield at this same stage two years ago and while La Liga’s champions may not be among the Champions League favourites, no-one will particularly relish being paired with them.

They have players who can provide class in attack and in Oblak they possess one of the world’s great goalkeepers.

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Herman Nnyanzi 'The Analyst' is a Ugandan multimedia sports journalist who started his career in 2017. He has a genuine strong love for sports and expertise, especially football. Contact me on +256704472629 or +256786403603

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