Manchester United Must Make Their Mark In The Champions League

It is fair to say that it has been a stop-start season for Manchester United with many ups-and-downs throughout.

From Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking like he had assembled a squad that could compete on all fronts, to being sacked before the year was over, it has not been plain sailing for the Red Devils.

Ralf Rangnick has come in and steadied the ship. It has taken two months or so, but the German manager has a system in place which is now beginning to pick up points and look far more balanced systematically.

The race for a top four finish is on for Manchester United, who need to ensure that they remain in the Champions League for next season if they are to attract the world’s best talent out there in the summer.

There is, of course, another route that the club can take in order to achieve European top-tier qualification, which is winning the competition this season. It is a huge ask, but just like Chelsea in 2011-12, there is always a surprise result around the corner in the Champions League.

First in their way is a battle-hardened Atletico Madrid, away in Spain. Cristiano Ronaldo has previous with coach Diego Simeone and will want to get another one over him as he attempts to spearhead Man United to victory.

Even if certain key first-team players are out or starting from the bench – just as Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez are – Simeone’s side is going to be incredibly difficult to break down and get the better of.

Manchester United have grown frustrated in certain games this season when they have struggled to find a breakthrough, so it is absolutely essential that they remain calm and wait for the right moment to strike.

Good news for the Red Devils is Jadon Sancho’s form. It has taken several months for the England international to get up to speed, but he has certainly arrived now in style. Two assists on the weekend to give Man United another important victory, Sancho will be expected to deliver on the world stage just as he has done before for Borussia Dortmund.

Questions are constantly being asked around Manchester United’s performances and results, so there is no better platform to really showcase what they can achieve under Rangnick than in the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid, with their current squad, have successfully battled through round after round, year on year, and have the mental resilience to never be counted out. It is now time for Manchester United to step up to the plate and deliver a stellar performance in Madrid.