Manchester United – Atlético Madrid: Simeone’s Side Condemn Red Devils To Champions League Elimination (0-1)
After a 1-1 draw in a first leg where Atlético Madrid seemed to be the better side overall, they visited Old Trafford to face Manchester United with a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals on the line. As was the case in their previous meeting, the team with less of the ball looked more in control, and that once again happened to be the Spanish side.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
In a season of turmoil and transition for Manchester United, all remaining hope seemed to be unravelling towards the business end of the season. The Premier League title was well out of question for quite a while, but following a slump in form that has seen them win just one of their last three matches in the competition, their chances of finishing in the top four have dropped to around six percent according to our model.
On the contrary, a recent upturn in form for Atlético Madrid (which saw them win five of their last six league matches) after a disastrous start to their title defence saw them leapfrog Real Betis to enter the top four, and our model now suggests that their chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season directly through the league are about five in six. Their impressive albeit incomplete first leg performance against Manchester United would undoubtedly have given them a lot of encouragement in the tie.
They certainly used some of that for their lineup as they maintained the 3-5-2 formation that worked very well at the Wanda Metropolitano a few weeks ago, but there were four personnel . . .