It’s all to play for at Old Trafford in the second leg of the last 16 tie between Atletico Madrid and Manchester United, after the sides played out a 1-1 draw.
Atletico took the lead in seven minutes – a brilliant start for the home side. Joao Felix ran across his marker and scored a sumptuous diving header. United were shell-shocked.
And they struggled to get into the game into the first-half. United dominated possession-wise but did very little with it, and Atletico looked threatening every time they came forward.
They should have been two-nil up just before half-time. Marcos Llorente headed the ball down and the ball struck Lindelof before hitting the crossbar from barely a couple of yards out.
It was more of the same in the second-half – United ball-dominant, but Atletico looked the more threatening. United didn’t test Jan Oblak very often, if at all.
It was a scrappy, itty bitty, no real flow or rhythm to the game – exactly what Diego Simeone would have wanted.
But up stepped Anthony Elanga. He made a run in behind the Atleti defence and Bruno Fernandes slipped a pass through for the youngster to slot it past Oblak. United’s first shot on target all night, and what a crucial goal that could be.
Atletico hit the crossbar once again, this time through Antoine Griezmann but United held on to see out the draw.
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The other knockout tie that took place this evening was Benfica against Ajax.
An intriguing match-up – Benfica finished runners-up in their group behind Bayern Munich, whilst Ajax had a 100% record in the group stages.
Dusan Tadic gave Ajax the lead 18 minutes in. The skipper side-footed his effort straight into the top corner.
Sebastian Haller has been prolific for the Dutch side this season but he put one in his own net to level up proceedings. Shortly after, he made up for it by putting Ajax back in front.
Roman Yaremchuk made it all square once again, scoring from close range after a save from the Ajax goalkeeper.
All to play for in the second-leg in Amsterdam.