A late Anthony Elanga equaliser saw Manchester United steal an undeserved draw against a dominant Atletico Madrid side.
Diego Simeone’s team were in control for the majority of the match, putting on a strong offensive showing in the first half before displaying a defensive masterclass in the second. A brief lapse in concentration allowed the Red Devils to nick an equaliser, leaving things all square at full time.
Atletico started the match brightly, looking energised by the incredible atmosphere inside the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, and it didn’t take them long to find the opening goal.
A bullet header by Joao Felix put the home side in front, leaving a stunned Manchester United to kick-off from the half-way line after only six minutes.
The Red Devils slowly started to settle in the match, controlling the ball a little in the midfield and having a few speculative chances. They couldn’t match Atletico’s tempo for much of the first half, however, and it was clear that Diego Simeone had massively prepared for this tie.
Manchester United escaped danger in the 44th minute after a quick free-kick led to a close range Marcos Llorente header, which bounced off the post, letting the Red Devils off the hook.
The first half ended 1-0 to Atletico Madrid, with Ralf Rangnick’s side being utterly bullied around the pitch during the first half. The Spanish side finished the first 45 minutes with an expected goals (xG) of 1.30, miles above Manchester United’s measly 0.04 xG.
The English side also didn’t take a single touch in their opposition’s penalty area during this time, a sign of their horrific attacking performance.
In the second half, Atletico set up incredibly defensively and they contained Manchester United well, allowing them possession but reducing space to a minimum. This continued for the majority of the 45 minutes, until things turned on their heads in the 80th minute.
A well-placed Bruno Fernandes through ball was met by a sprinting Anthony Elanga, who made no mistake as he slotted the ball past Jan Oblak.
Atletico almost salvaged a late winner in the 87th minute, when Antoine Griezmann’s curled shot rattled off the crossbar.
Neither side could find a goal in the dying minutes of the match, leaving things to end 1-1 in the Wanda Metropolitano.