Joao Felix challenges Cristiano for Champions League last-8 spot

Manchester/Madrid, Mar 14 (EFE).- All the eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix as Manchester United host Atletico Madrid for the second leg of the Champions League last-16.

Only individual skills are expected to be the deciding factor in the clash pitting together two inconsistent teams who had to settle for a 1-1 first-leg draw.

Atletico Madrid have been improving of late, fired on by Joao Felix, who scored five goals over the past few games, including the opener against United.

In that game, the Red Devils had to wait until the 80th minute to score the equalizer and maintain their quarterfinal chances heading into the second leg.

A scenario that a hopeful Ralf Rangnick knows they have to avoid repeating.

“We are aware of that. It would be important to score the first goal ourselves,” Manchester United coach said prior to the game.

“It’s very important not to concede first. We are aware of that: we want to try not to concede at all if possible, but it will be important to score the first goal ourselves.

“The game against Tottenham showed the level we can play at. I’m sure we can win the game tomorrow,” he added.

Against the Spurs, Cristiano scored a hat-trick to power United to a thrilling 3-2 victory that dispels some doubts about his professionalism — raised after missing the clash against Manchester City — and a recent drop in form.

Diego Simeone still believes his team, who are on their longest unbeaten run of the season, can make the quarterfinal.

“We did enough to win [the first leg] and it’s all to play for,” the Atletico Madrid coach said ahead of the game.

“Almost everything we did in the game, we did really well. You’d think the advantage was with them, but with the away goals rule change that’s not the case,” he added. EFE


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