RALF RANGNICK couldn’t continue to rely on his Swedish teen starlet to produce an impact El from the bench.
But at least Manchester United The boss was brave enough to correct his tactical mistakes to help his team get a result.
The Red Devils were stopped for almost the entire first half by Atletico Madrid but escaped the Spanish capital with an important draw thanks to Anthony Elanga.
The 19-year-old came on from the bench for the second game in a row to score and create an important one Champions League The last 16 first leg matches.
But despite the fight back after Joao Felix’s early header, there were still plenty of questions for Rangnick.
Victor Lindelof’s surprise selection at right-back in place of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot raised some eyebrows but it didn’t deliver the mark Ralf Rangnick was looking for.
His two defensive opponents were much more forward and much more comfortable on the ball, which resulted in United having no way out on the right.
He put on a great slide challenge to deny Jose Luis Gimenez early on and get a few goals in the game, but in truth the Swede was run all night by Renan Lodi and Joao Felix.
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At half an hour, Lindelof to Raphael Varane was the highest passing combination of the game – and that tells you everything you need to know about their starving Marcus Rashford.
Next to him were Raphael Varane, who still failed to display the composure he showed at Real Madrid, and Harry Maguire, whose slow reaction allowed Felix to head the opener, and Luke Shaw dropped down. left wing.
And all four of them had a lot of work to do during the opening period when Atletico’s press suggested that United were in a unified position.
It was not the Red Devils who made it difficult for the La Liga champions when everyone was running slowly instead of running behind, a piece of cake for Diego Simeone’s army.
At the top, the frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo barely got the start and had to wait until the 36th minute to have his first chance against his city rivals.
Rashford squandered an opportunity to tee off while Jadon Sancho also struggled to make an impact on his limited service.
And the sum total is that United failed to touch a single touch inside the box in the first half of a Champions League match for the first time since the 2005/06 season.
United legend Paul Scholes hit a nail in the head as he told BT Sport his former side had been ‘bullied’ and ‘that every problem comes from the right side’ where Lindelof is live.
But playing fair with Rangnick, shortly after the reboot he quickly modified with a sub-three.
The lousy Paul Pogba was stuck for the second straight game and was replaced by Nemanja Matic to add steel in midfield and block the Atletico press.
Lindelof’s misery was over when Aaron Wan-Bissaka took the position of full-back and Alex Telles was assigned to play at full-back.
Immediately, United looked stronger and started pressing – but still a talisman Ronaldo couldn’t get in.
The Red Devils are enjoying most of the possession but lack of harmony with the Portuguese legend, Jadon Sancho and Rashford are both ineffective.
But when you have an ace like the talented teenager Elanga, you always have a chance.
Bruno Fernandes was one of the worst performers on the pitch, but he showed a glimpse of his magic with a perfectly weighted pass for the sub to finish – despite though not as sweet as he would have liked.
It is clear that United still has a lot of work to do – as you can see from player ratings – but having the boss raise his hand when he’s wrong is always a good start to making things better.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17751320/man-utd-verdict-rangnick-atletico-madrid/ Rangnick made tactical blunders but offered the aces with his replacement as Elanga saved the boss against Atletico Madrid