MADRID, July 30 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Atlético de Madrid beat England’s Manchester United by the minimum (1-0) this Saturday at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo, thanks to a goal by Joao Félix in the final minutes of the game that gave the Colchoneros their second win of the pre-season debut by Argentinian winger Nahuel Molina.
Diego Pablo Simeone’s side did not shine in attack, narrowly catching former mattress player David De Gea’s goal. A match without clear chances and with many inaccuracies at the back on both sides. However, Reinildo and Oblak, the only rojiblancos to play the 90 minutes, acted as firewalls to save their teammates’ mistakes.
With right-back Nahuel Molina, who made his debut as a regular player after his commitment last Thursday, Atlético had to accept the siege of the “Red Devils” in the first few minutes. France’s Anthony Martial, United’s offensive trick last season with three goals in four games, came in unison and alerted the ‘cholo’ with two heads-up that Jan Oblak and Reinildo stopped.
The Manchester sides were more rounded, with a positive record in their pre-season tests, winning three of the four games with a draw. Thus, the “new” United shone in an attack without Cristiano Ronaldo, whose name sounded to join the rojiblanco team and who will play his first minutes of the season against Rayo Vallecano this Sunday.
Atlético, undecided on defence, came into David de Gea’s box with a drop count. In fact, a mistake by Lindelof should have cost Erik ten Hag’s men dearly, although the Swede redeemed himself by dodging Kondogbia’s close-range shot.
The friendly put aside the apparent calm that is common in pre-season and heightened the tension between two sides, who had their advantages and disadvantages after meeting in last season’s ‘Champions’ round of 16. Scot McTominay caused a bit of a scuffle among the Atlético players after suing a sore Oblak in the fall.
With no change after the break, the mattress side pushed through their claims in the second half, disrupting Manchester when the ball came out. However, his efforts on goal came to nothing and ‘Cholo’ brought out the second unit in the 60th minute to change a large part of the starting XI.
Joao Félix got his first few minutes after missing the first friendly against Numancia, accompanying Álvaro Morata in attack. While Saúl Ñíguez occupied the left lane, the same side he had avoided in the past.
Manchester United lowered the intensity in a quiet second half. Ten Hag moved to the bench to revive midfield with Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen. It was from the Dane’s boots that United’s best chances came and Harry Maguire squandered his measured cross to the point of the box in the clearest chance of the game.
With everything to be decided in the final ten minutes, a genius from Joao Félix broke the tie, leaving De Gea pinned after the Portuguese sliced forward and capped his action with the near post. With that, the attacker scored the winning goal and earned the focus he needed for his first performance of the season.
The goal infuriated a troubled United even more as they deserved more in a friendly with no pain or glory for either team. Nonetheless, Brazilian Fred reignited the tension on the pitch with a second yellow when he kicked Morata in the stomach.
In this way, Atlético completed a meritorious victory to remain unbeaten in preseason after beating Numancia (4-0) and now the “Red Devils” by the minimum (1-0). Their next rival to beat will be Cádiz at the Carranza Trophy on August 4th.