The two UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg ties played Wednesday night both ended in a stalemate albeit in a different fashion.
At the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by the visiting Manchester United team.
On their part, Benfica and Ajax played out a nervy 2-2 draw at the Estadio da Luz.
Having seen fellow English teams, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all getting desired results in their respective first leg ties, the onus was on United to also do well in the Spanish capital.
However, the Red Devils had a shaky start as Joao Felix put Atletico Madrid ahead barely seven minutes into the game. Renan Lodi delivered a beautiful curling cross from deep to find Felix, who sprung his marker before launching himself at the ball.
The Portuguese star connected brilliantly with his head and found the net by way of the near post. Diego Llorente hit the crossbar when he should have scored at the end of the first half.
Diego Simeone’s men had less of the ball but were more dangerous but they could not find a second goal to kill off United and they paid for it. Ralf Rangnick made a triple substitution in the 66th minute. He sent on Nemanja Matic, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Alex Telles for Victor Lindelof, Paul Pogba, and Luke Shaw as United chased the game
But it was Anthony Elanga, who came on for Marcus Rashford in the 75th minute that rescued United from the jaws of defeat with his 80th-minute goal off an assist from Bruno Fernandes.
Diego Simeone‘s men have been on a difficult run of form over recent weeks and the hopes of turning things around with the Champions League tie against United are considerably harder now, going into the second leg.
Elsewhere, fans had a lot to savour as the Benfica vs Ajax tie produced four goals and the spoils were shared equally at 2-2.
With the away goals effectively cancelled, the two games are still delicately poised with any of the four teams still with a decent chance of picking any of the quarter-final berths.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To place an advert here . Call Willie - +2348098788999