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Man Utd have a £52m shining light and other things learned from Atletico Madrid defeat | Football | Sport


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Manchester United exited the Champions League on Tuesday night following a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford. Renan Lodi scored the only goal of the game, heading home from close range just before the interval. And it means the Red Devils are now primed to end the campaign without a trophy to their name.

Manchester United and Atletico Madrid both went into the game with the tie hanging in the balance following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Joao Felix had struck in Spain, with Anthony Elanga then levelling in the closing stages.

However, while United dominated the ball this time around, they were unable to make their possession count for anything.

Lodi notched the only goal of the game, heading home after Diogo Dalot was left exposed defensively.

It was a disappointing night for Ralf Rangnick, who will now be wondering how his side were able to exit the competition.

Express Sport will now take a look at four things we’ve learned from the showdown.

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Fred finally looks a good £52m man

Back in the summer transfer window of 2018, Jose Mourinho brought Fred to Old Trafford – beating Manchester City to the signing of the Brazilian in the process.

It’s not always been straightforward for the midfielder at Old Trafford, with consistency lacking under both Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

However, under Ralf Rangnick, the Samba star has been a player transformed.

He produced a sensational showing against Atletico, throwing himself around the field with vigour and excelling in an advanced midfield role.

Fred won all of his tackles and take-ons during the first half and won the ball back on numerous occasions throughout the fixture.

Finally, after four years, the club’s decision to spend £52million is paying off.


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Anthony Elanga still has much to learn

There’s no denying Anthony Elanga is a talent, with the young Swede again bright against Atletico.

However, it’s clear the 19-year-old still has much to learn – especially when it comes to his defensive duties.

Elanga was at fault for Atletico’s goal, failing to track Lodi who was able to head past David De Gea.

He certainly warranted his selection given his recent impressive form.

But Elanga will now have to go back to the drawing board and improve the defensive part of his game if he’s to develop into the world-class footballer the club believe he can be.

Oblak shows why he’s the best

It’s not always been a positive season for Atletico Madrid, with their defensive issues well-documented prior to the contest.

They’ve conceded more La Liga goals this season than in any other since Simeone took charge.

But Jan Oblak showed exactly why he’s the best goalkeeper on the planet with a terrific save in the first half to deny Elanga.

Once of interest to United, the Slovenia international would have been a top addition in the past.

Yet there’s very little chance of Atletico ever letting him go when he’s operating at the peak of his powers like this.

Bruno Fernandes disappoints

This was a big night for Bruno Fernandes.

And the Portugal international, once again in the Champions League this season, disappointed.

The former Sporting Lisbon star spent too much time heckling the referee and appeared unable to regain his concentration as the battle went on.

While it was surprising to see him go off, especially after a fizzing free-kick, it was clear Fernandes was struggling to make his mark.

Ultimately the change did little good, with United slipping out of the Champions League despite huffing and puffing all night long.

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