The final round of UCL RO16 2nd legs kicked off on Tuesday with the blockbuster tie.
Familiar foes Cristiano Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid faced off once again, as the Spanish side visited Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.
The 1-1 draw played out in Madrid meant that it was all left to be played for, for either side in this finely poised fixture.
A tight contest was also expected as the UCL also remained either side’s only chance for some silverware this season.
The game kicked off at a frantic pace with the home side utilizing the deafening atmosphere to take the game to Atletico.
The first 20 minutes saw United dominate, creating clear cut chances and deploying the famed gegenpressing system much popularized by Ralph Rangnick after losing possession.
The best chance of the first half fell to youngster Anthony Elanga in this period which was saved by Jan Oblak at point-blank range.
But this bright start from the Red Devils quickly dissipated and Atletico successfully rode out the period of pressure like they have done so on so many occasions in the past and managed to strike a decisive blow through Renan Lodi, who latched onto a Griezmann cross inside the box during a swift counter in the 40th minute.
This ensured that the second half was a dream scenario for the Spanish side, to sit back and defend a 1-0 advantage, an art they have perfected as a club over the years.
United huffed and puffed, trying to get behind the low block and almost equalized through Raphael Varane in the 75th minute, whose header was once again stopped by Oblak.
But in the end, it just was not enough as Atletico held onto their precious lead and emerged victorious on a famous night for them at Old Trafford.
For United, it meant another year without silverware and not even Ronaldo’s return could break that streak for the Mancunian side.
The 1-0 scoreline does not do justice for what was an extremely entertaining tie but Twitter has captured these fine details not reflected in the result. Here are the key moments from the match:
Oblak’s moments of brilliance
The keeper made two crucial stops on either side of halftime without which the game would have easily slipped away from Atletico’s hands.
Fred drops filthy skill
It looks like Fred has finally found his Brazilian passport under Rangnick as he dropped another solid performance while also exhibiting much flair through moves like this.
Another Maguire mistake leads to Lodi’s goal
Atletico’s game plan targeted Harry Maguire as the weak link of the United defence and he was at fault for the decisive goal from Renan Lodi that would go on to eventually kick United out of the Champions League.
Baffling Juan Mata decision
Nobody expected Ralf Rangnick to throw on out of form Juan Mata against Atletico but he did so by taking off Harry Maguire and playing with just one centre-back for the last few minutes.
Simeone pelted with drinks from United fans at full time