Atletico Madrid vs. Manchester United score, ratings: Anthony Elanga, Red Devils rescue Champions League draw

Manchester United coach Ralf Rangnick signaled 19-year-old Anthony Elanga off his bench and the young Swede made the most of his first touch in a hostile environment. The Elanga entered in the 75th minute and scored on his first touch of the game in the 80th to earn Manchester United a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 first leg on Wednesday at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The Red Devils probably didn’t deserve a point from the match as they struggled to create much of anything, but they weathered the storm in defense and found their moment, with Bruno Fernandes feeding the young teenage striker with 10 minutes to go with Atleti’s defense and goalkeeper failing to position themselves:

It was more of the same from an Atleti defense that continues to barely resemble the elite units of past seasons. The center-backs were out of position, goalkeeper Jan Oblak was three steps too far left, and they gifted the goal to a United team that needed the assistance. The visitors, with just seven shots, finished the game with an xG of 0.46 — their lowest amount of the season in all competitions. 

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But, on the ride home to England, they’ll feel good. The draw means United will advance to the quarterfinals if they beat Atleti in the second leg next month, while a draw will mean extra time at Old Trafford. Those who may not feel good include winger Marcus Rashford, who did next to nothing and may soon find himself on the bench in favor of the rising Elanga, who has now scored in back-to-back games.

On the other side, it will feel like a harsh result for the hosts. Atleti took the lead through a superb Joao Felix header just seven minutes in, and at 1-1 late, Antoine Griezmann hit the crossbar with a nifty effort. United rarely looked like a threat against a home defense that didn’t have to worry about much until the final quarter of an hour, but two balls off the post leave Los Colchoneros wondering what could have been.

All to play for now in the second leg with 90 minutes guaranteed and potentially an extra 30 plus penalty kicks if it remains even.

Atletico ratings

(GK) Jan Oblak


Only had two chances to make a save, and he blew the most important one. His positioning on the goal wasn’t good at all. Also his defense let him down, a combination that’s been the story of Atleti’s season.


(DEF) Stefan Savic


Didn’t even have to make a tackle in this one. Did well with his duels and was dominant in the air. Atleti had so many guys back in defense there wasn’t much to do.


(DEF) Jose Maria Gimenez


Back from illness and not overly sharp. Decent in the air, solid in his duels but felt a step slow. His positioning on the goal wasn’t great either.


(DEF) Reinaldo


Not great. When the spotlight was on him, a poor attempt to stop the ball allowed Elanga to go through and get te game tying goal. Facing him up and containing him would have been wiser.


(DEF) Sime Vrsaljko


A real bright spot who did most everything right. Almost got a goal as well. Was strong in his tackles, always looked like winning the ball and did well in the air, too.


(DEF) Renan Lodi


Not overly impressive defensively, but boy did he deliver some fantastic crosses. Got the assist on Joao Felix’s opening goal with a lovely, powerful ball in.


(MID) Marcos Llorente


His passing was poor, but he did create a team-high three chances along with Lodi. Not spectacular by any means.


(MID) Geoffrey Kondogbia


Just a graceful player who can draw fouls and take one touch to escape danger. Danced around United in the first half but faded a bit.


(MID) Hector Herrera


Hard to notice he was even playing, in truth. That wasn’t because he didn’t do anything, but he was just quiet. His passing was decent, his defending was solid, but that didn’t impact the match much.


(FWD) Angel Correa


There is a reason why he gets so many minutes under Diego Simeone. He was the most threatening creator going forward. The Argentine needed to see the ball more but looked sharp when he had it.


(FWD) Joao Felix


⚽ 7′ Got his goal seven minutes in with a brilliant header. Had a team-high five shots but four of them were blocked. Couldn’t use his speed to get much going after the goal.



Lodi (76′)

Touched the ball nine times in 14 minutes but played no role in attack.


Antoine Griezmann

Felix (76′)

Came in and made an impact, hitting the crossbar and nearly winning it for his side.


Diego Simeone


Only made two changes. Will feel hard done by the crossbar, with his side hitting it in both halves. Griezmann almost won it for him late as well. He’ll feel more than confident in getting a win at Old Trafford. 


Manchester United ratings

(GK) David de Gea

90 What must he have thought of the chaos ahead of him? De Gea ultimately had precious little to do in a match where United saw a lot of the ball and did remarkably little with it. 5

(DEF) Victor Lindelof

65 Deployed out of position, the auxiliary right back did some excellent last line defending — blocking an early Gimenez shot — but could do absolutely nothing to deal with the danger posed by Lodi. It did not help that no one was supporting him, as if the team structure were designed to show Lindelof at his worst. 3

(DEF) Raphael Varane  

90 Varane seemed to struggle with the pressure placed on him by Atletico’s high press and was not the only player who just looked entirely out of sync; in one passage of play he was lucky to get a foul when Correa burst away, didn’t see a goal kick coming and gave away a free kick on the edge of his box. 3

(DEF) Harry Maguire 

90 He does not deserve a hammering for not being able to stop Atleti’s outstanding opener but you could not shake the sense he might have been able to make it a little harder for Felix. 3

(DEF) Luke Shaw  

65 United legend Rio Ferdinand noted that Shaw could have done more to warn Maguire of Felix’s run and it was notable how often he was nowhere to be seen when players from the Atletico right flashed to the back post. 3

(MID) Fred

90 The moment he failed to spot a two vs. one down the left until it was much too late rather typified a frustrating performance from Fred, who was consistently late to the ball. Felix kept finding space in the areas you would expect the Brazilian to be patrolling. 3

(MID) Paul Pogba  

65 One might have assumed Pogba would have dropped deep enough to allow United to play through Atletico’s intense press but he rarely seemed to be showing for the release valve pass his defenders needed. 3

(MID) Bruno Fernandes  

90 Early on his passes and flicks were not quite going to feet. Twice in a matter of moments he put the ball straight out for a throw in. Miscuing the clearance that would lead to Atletico’s goal seemed to discombobulate Fernandes, who struggled to positively impact the game until a late through ball teed up Anthony Elanga. 3

(FWD) Marcus Rashford  

74 All too often he wasted the attacking positions that came his way with underwhelming crosses that asked an awful lot of Cristiano Ronaldo. After a while he expanded his repertoire to punting the ball over from way out. In a bad game all around he might have been United’s worst player. 3

(FWD) Cristiano Ronaldo

90 That his most notable contributions to the first half came in the United half of the pitch indicated just how difficult it was to get the ball to him. For once Ronaldo was not able to impose himself on the opposition center backs meaning too often balls sent to him came straight back. 4

(FWD) Jadon Sancho

81 Perhaps the one kind thing you could say about Sancho is he was not as noticeably bad as many others on the pitch but there were still plenty of misplaced passes and defensive lapses, particularly on the right when someone should have been supporting Lindelof. 4
Substitutes Replaced How did they do? Rating

(Alex Telles

Shaw, 66′ He simply did not give the ball away all that often. That was progress of the right kind for United. 5

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Lindelof, 66′ Atletico still had joy down the right when Lindelof came on but Wan-Bissaka won both of his duels, passed the ball neatly and did not stray too far from a defensive task. 6

Nemanja Matic

Pogba, 66′ As was the case with a few of the substitutes tonight he made a difference by simply being less actively bad than the player he replaced. Matic was quiet but United needed quiet. 5
Anthony Elanga Rashford, 75′ ⚽ 80′ Perhaps the only man in blue to show any real composure, the way he looked up to spot Oblak’s poor positioning and punish him with a precise finish. 7
Jesse Lingard Sancho, 82′ Struggled to impact the game until the very last second when a tame shot from outside the box was nearly spilled by Oblak. 5
Manager Subs used How did the manager do? Rating
Ralf Rangnick 5 Playing Lindelof out of position set United’s defense up for all sorts of difficulties and after 45 minutes of unified ineptitude he allowed things to continue into the second half. This was as disastrous a night for Rangnick as it was for his players. 3

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