Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd told how to give Atletico a ‘hard time’ and take control of Champions League tie

Man Utd manager Ralf Rangnick

Former striker Diego Forlan has told Man Utd how they can take control of their Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid and give the reigning La Liga champions a ‘hard time’.

Ralf Rangnick’s side travel to Atletico on Wednesday evening in the first leg of their last 16 clash. The Red Devils are looking to reach the quarter-final of the competition for the first time since 2018-19, when they were beaten 4-0 by Barcelona over two legs.

Man Utd should go into the match with relatively high confidence following victories in their last two matches. They overcame Brighton 2-0 at Old Trafford before winning 4-2 against rivals Leeds United.

Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is also back in the goalscoring groove after ending his drought against the Seagulls.

However, Atletico will certainly put up a stern test. They have the likes of Luis Suarez, Koke and Jan Oblak in their squad after all.

Forlan, who played for both clubs during his successful career, has now told Man Utd how they can get past the Spanish outfit and into the next round.

“Manchester [United] have players who have a lot of change of pace, a lot of speed and who like one on one,” Forlan said during an interview with Marca (via the Daily Mirror).

Red Devils could use the counter-attack

“Atletico Madrid are not at their best at the moment, so they are going to be wary of those counter-attacks.

“If it comes to a game where Manchester find that space and those long runs, Atletico could have a hard time.

“Atletico will have to keep their lines together to have a good chance of winning the game. It’s a nice game of chess for both coaches.”

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United are aiming to continue the success of English teams in the first leg of the last 16 ties. Manchester City thrashed Sporting 5-0 last Tuesday, before Liverpool beat Inter 2-0 in their back yard.

Chelsea then eased past French champions Lille at Stamford Bridge last night.

Man Utd player’s future uncertain

Rangnick put a stop to a Diogo Dalot exit in January, but uncertainty over the Man Utd manager’s future could see the full-back targeted again next summer, claims a report.

Dalot’s talents were never in doubt after excelling on loan at AC Milan last season. That led to the Italian giant seeking to sign Dalot once again last summer, but United’s high demands laid waste to a deal.

That has worked out for the best in the end given Dalot’s importance since Rangnick took charge. And according to Spanish outlet AS, the interim boss backed up his faith in Dalot by stepping in when Atletico Madrid came calling in January.

The report states Diego Simeone’s side – who are United’s Champions League opponent on Wednesday night – have long been admirers of Dalot.

They reportedly sought to replace Kieran Trippier with Dalot last month. However, Rangnick ‘closed in on such a possibility’ to ensure Dalot stayed put.

However, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Man Utd’s next permanent manager is keeping Atletico’s hopes alive.

READ MORE: Man Utd sources point to bullish transfer plan even without CL as Haaland eyed – Euro Paper Talk