Simeone finally knocks Cristiano Ronaldo out of the Champions League
Simeone finally knocks Ronaldo out as Atletico moves to the quarters of the Champions League
Simeone versus Ronaldo is arguably the greatest manager versus player rivalry in football history. The Atletico Madrid manager never got the better of Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portuguese always knocked his side out of the prestigious competition. During his time at Juventus, Cristiano mocked Simeone for his celebration and dashed the Atletico Madrid fans after a beautiful hat-trick at the Juventus stadium. Things have changed massively since then. Ronaldo represents Manchester United now and isn’t getting better and better with age. Nevertheless, Simeone will be remembered to have the last laugh as Atletico defeated United at Old Trafford to knock Cristiano Ronaldo and his team Manchester United out of the Champions League.
After a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the round, Renan Lodi’s header in the 41st minute decided the fate of the tie. Simeone, known for his organised defence, parked the bus in the modern way as United couldn’t find any space to do much in the second half. Ralf Rangnick, the United boss, needs to take the blame as well. He brought Cavani and Rashford in the 2nd half but dropped Bruno Fernandez in the 67th minute. The move made no sense as he is the only creative midfielder that United has in their team. The manager replaced him with Paul Pogba, who of course is a great sub but the manager should have let both these players play as in a stage like that of Champions League, you need your best players to play the match. With Bruno gone, the midfield lacked creativity and Juan Mata is not someone who can expect a lot from in 2022.
United fans also showed their real emotion when Harry Maguire was taken off in the 84th minute. If you see a champion club like Real Madrid, they fight till the last minute; their captain motivates all the players and so on and so forth. Just think about the final of 2014. Sergio Ramos scored that goal in the 94th minute against the same opponent that night. You need that mentality from the captain of Manchester United. Harry Maguire these days looks nothing but an over hyped English product. Even if we keep captaincy aside, not sure if he is worthy enough to wear the Manchester United crest in his chest. Millions of United fans will agree to this as when their captain was taken off, Old Trafford was cheering the move. You cannot imagine this kind of scene in any other top club. The mentality is important, something that the team needs to learn.
Ralf Rangnick is definitely a great coach and a tactician but some of his moves looked surprising to say the least. He lacked experience in the middle. United came close on certain occasions but Jan Oblak proved once again why he is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. His teammate and midfielder Koke appreciated Oblak after the match by saying, “For me, Jan Oblak is the best goalkeeper in the world. He’s shown it once again tonight”.
Ralf Rangnick was once again disappointed with his team’s performance. In his regular fashion, the German said, “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”. He added, “Conceding that counter-attacking goal just before halftime didn’t make life any easier. It was hard and always interrupted. There was always somebody lying on the floor”.
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