19 minutes: De Gea’s response was another aspect of Felix’s goal that was picture-perfect. Rooted to the spot, he watched in terror as it cannoned off one post, then spun around as the ball soared behind him, hoping beyond all hope that it kept out of the net, an expression of helplessness growing across his face.
17 minutes: Atletico Madrid easily deal with Shaw’s corner. United, on the other hand, is gaining a foothold in the game after a difficult start.
16 minutes: Before the corner can be taken, the referee gives Savic and Pogba a good talking to for acting like idiots in a crowded box.
15 minutes: Fernandes pulls a speculative pop from the D’s right. For United’s first corner of the evening, the ball pings off Savic and out.
14 minutes: Felix dribbles down the middle at breakneck speed. Rashford does a fantastic job of stopping him just outside the D, but the ball falls to Vrsaljko, who crosses low and hard. Lindelof makes his way to the front of the line. Every time the hosts attack, they appear to be dangerous.
12 minutes: Ronaldo, Pogba, and Rashford take turns probing down the right flank for the first time this evening. There is no way past an Atleti defence that is jam-packed.
11 minutes: United tries to right the ship with some sterile midfield possession. Overall, a good idea. The home crowd retaliates with a barrage of pantomime whistling, the level of which rises to 11 every time Ronaldo touches the ball. Diego Simeone is kicking every ball from the touchline.
9 minutes: Felix made an incredible leap, hovering in mid-air for what felt like hours. What a header, too! And the issue is, while you can debate Maguire’s placement, Lodi’s cross was so superb that it would have eliminated most defenders from the equation. All in all, a fantastic goal.
GOAL! Manchester United loses 1-0 against Atletico Madrid (Felix 7)
What a lofty objective! The ball flies to Lodi out on the left after Lindelof clears the corner. Lodi unleashes a fantastic curler from deep onto Felix’s head, who has the run on Maguire. Felix slams a soaring header past the left post and into the net. Almost on par with Keith Houchen! Despite the fact that only seven minutes had passed, that was inevitable.
6 minutes: During these early exchanges, United appear uneasy. De Gea shanks a straightforward clearing out of play, and Atletico win another corner down the right flank from the subsequent throw. As a result…
5 minutes: Felix skitters down the inside-left channel and drifts inside, opening his body in preparation for a top-right shot. He’s using the wrong curler. Kick for a goal.
Herrera and Fred compete for a high ball after 4 minutes. The latter is the worse of the two. For the first, but not, I’m sure, the last time tonight, the physio comes in. Fred is up and running again in no time.
United fails to clear the corner after three minutes. Correa nips in down the right and pulls back for Gimenez, whose shot from the edge of the box is wonderfully blocked by Lindelof. Fernandes swipes fresh air, allowing Correa to nip in down the right and pull back for Gimenez, whose shooting from the edge of the box is brilliantly blocked by Lindelof. The hosts got off to a quick start.
2 minutes: The atmosphere in the Estadio Metropolitano is otherwise acceptable. Everyone is making a lot of noise. Correa has a long launch. Maguire takes off for a corner, completely unafraid. He twists and takes a shot at De Gea, but it’s a bad attempt.
The first leg of this Round-of-16 tie is begun for United. To a cacophony of whistles from the home crowd, the visitors take the knee first. Racism has no place in this world.
The teams have left the building! Los Colchoneros of Atletico Madrid are wearing red and white striped mattresses. As a result, United is forced to wear 90s throwback blue and black as a third option. We’ll take off in a few minutes, once Uefa has mangled Zadok the Priest and leaders Jan Oblak and Bruno Fernandes Harry Maguire have swapped pennants. Before you know it, we’ll be on our way!
Rangnick’s selection of a central defender for the right-back position is a tad surprising. Not exactly a vote of confidence in Diogo Dalot or Aaron Wan-Bissaka. “I’m spitting feathers if I’m one of the right backs on that side,” Rio Ferdinand says on BT Sport. Owen Hargreaves is in agreement. “Oh, my god, I’m seething.” To be fair to Rangnick, he did point out that this particular choice allows for a quick changeover to three at the back. So, let’s see how this tactical gambit goes. I’m hoping Jonathan Wilson has a good pencil.