Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker respond to Man United display in 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid

Gary Lineker Tweet

Gary Lineker Tweet

Rio Ferdinand described Manchester United as “lucky” after they earned a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.

The Red Devils struggled to gain a foothold in the game in the first half and ended up falling behind in the seventh minute when Joao Felix headed home Renan Lodi’s cross.

Ralf Rangnick’s side showed some signs of improvement after the break, however, and Anthony Elanga, who replaced Marcus Rashford in the 75th minute, ended up netting an equaliser for the visitors when he latched onto Bruno Fernandes’ pass and slid a fine finish into the bottom left corner.

The result leaves the tie all square heading into the return leg at Old Trafford on 15 March, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

Former Manchester United star Ferdinand was not particularly impressed by what he saw from the Red Devils on Wednesday and admitted that the Premier League side were fortunate to get an equaliser late on.

Speaking to BT Sport after the final whistle, Ferdinand said: “Look, Man United would have taken that result before the game. But they were lucky tonight.

“They were poor in the way they played, the first half was really poor. But when you talk about football at this level you often ask, ‘can you weather the storm and stay in the game?’

“For as bad as United played, David de Gea didn’t have much to do. You wanted a better performance but at least they’ve got a result.

“Elanga pops up at the end there with a goal and Bruno gets his assist, as bad as he played up until that point.

“Overall, United will be getting on that plane home tonight thinking they’re well in it. There’s some positives to take.”

Meanwhile, England legend Gary Lineker also criticised Manchester United for their poor first-half showing in Spain. Posting on Twitter at half-time, Lineker wrote: “Awful first half from Man United. The only positive is they’re only one down against a very dominant Atletico Madrid.”

Gary Lineker Tweet

Red Devils boss Rangnick admitted that his side’s performance in the first half was not up to scratch.

“After the performance in the first half, it could only get better because of how we played in the first half,” Rangnick said after the game.

“I still cannot believe what we did [in the first half]. We played without conviction, without the necessary aggression against the ball and that’s why we were really struggling in the first half.

“In the second half we were much better, we had possession in areas that mattered, and I think with another ten minutes to play we might have even won the game.

“Again, we just have to play better than we did in the first half. I was very disappointed in our performance in the first half.”

Manchester United will now turn their attentions towards their home Premier League clash against Watford on Saturday afternoon.

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Source: Sport Review


Author: Ellen Garcia