Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone hopes to cause Manchester United "vertigo" when his team travel to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano three weeks ago ended 1-1 after a late equaliser from substitute Anthony Elanga cancelled out Joao Felix's first-half header.

Atletico have lost their last two away trips to face English sides in the Champions League, losing at Chelsea in 2020-21 and Liverpool this season without scoring a goal in either.

They have also not kept a clean sheet in any of their eight away games against English teams in the competition, conceding 14 goals overall, but Simeone believes United could struggle as the home team. 

"We will press high," he told reporters at Monday's pre-match news conference. “It will be the classic type of match you expect in a game like this – the vertigo you sometimes suffer when you play at home.

"I think we have the opportunity to hit on the counter to capitalise on any errors they make. We are really up for the game and will do the best we can."

Atletico eliminated Liverpool in the 2019-20 Champions League at the round of 16 stage, winning the second leg 3-2 at Anfield after extra-time, but Simeone insists the game at Old Trafford is separate and the previous success England will have no bearing on the outcome.

"They are different games, we know the importance of the rival we are going to face tomorrow and the danger they have, but we are confident," he added.


Marcos Llorente, who scored twice in the win at Liverpool in 2019, said he and his team-mates are confident ahead of the game, but stressed they must be careful with Cristiano Ronaldo around.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in United's 3-2 win against Tottenham on Saturday, and has netted 13 goals in his last 15 home games against Atletico across all competitions, including two hat-tricks in his most recent four (for Real Madrid in May 2017 and Juventus in March 2019, both in the Champions League).

"When you have players like that, you always need to be on your guard," Llorente said. "They have some other great players that play at a really high level and have to be aware of all of them."

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo says now is not the time to discuss the future of head coach Mauricio Pochettino and the club do not need to "start all over again" after their Champions League collapse against Real Madrid.

PSG had looked set for a quarter-final spot when Kylian Mbappe doubled their aggregate lead at the Santiago Bernabeu with a first-half opener.

But Karim Benzema's 17-minute hat-trick saw the Ligue 1 leaders eliminated from the Champions League after a first-leg victory for the fourth time, with only Madrid themselves have gone out in such a fashion on more occasions (six times).

Whilst adamant that Benzema had fouled PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the build-up to the first of his three goals, Leonardo conceded changes were needed but not a large-scale rebuild. 

"It's a blow," Leonardo told RMC Sport after PSG's 3-2 aggregate reverse. 

"We can't bury everything that has been done. It's difficult to analyse.

"The foul on Donnarumma was decisive, but we had difficulty managing this moment. We lost control, we have to look for solutions. It's a shame that a decision is decisive in this kind of moment, but we have to keep calm. 

"We made mistakes, we have to change things, but we don't have to review everything.

"We must not throw everything away and put everything in the trash. We must not start all over again from scratch with each defeat.

"The objective is to win the Champions League, and until half-time of this match we were good."

The defeat is certain to lead to renewed speculation regarding the future of Pochettino, who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in the close season.

But Leonardo says the former Tottenham coach remains in their plans, at least for the time being.

"We must stay together. Pochettino is still in the project for this season," he added.

"This is not the time to think about that [the coach's future]."

In the build-up to Liverpool's clash with Inter at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp went to great lengths to spell out the fact that he and his team were taking nothing for granted.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg in Milan, the Reds were the clear favourites for progression in the Champions League last 16.

But, at his pre-match press conference, their manager warned: "The danger everybody knows about. It's 2-0, the lead I think which got turned over most often in the history of football."

And he struck a similar chord in his programme notes, telling supporters: "If anyone has even a tiny percentage of complacency or entitlement, please stay away."

Of course, Klopp would have loved nothing more than for Liverpool to have produced a vintage performance that made his cautious tone seem unnecessary.

Instead, he was proven completely right about the threat posed by Simone Inzaghi's side, who had in truth been rather unfortunate to suffer a two-goal defeat in the first leg.

It is not that Inter came out all guns blazing on Merseyside, of course; this is the Italian champions in European competition we are talking about.

But their ability to play through Liverpool lines was eye-catching from the off, with the impressive Hakan Calhanoglu key to that.

And the calm manner in which the visitors' back three dealt with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also bred confidence, with Milan Skriniar's game-high nine clearances marking him out.

As such, while Inter's best opportunity of an evenly matched first half saw Calhanoglu test Alisson from a free-kick, they had shown enough to suggest that something special could be in the offing in the second period.

You could clearly see those hopes growing close to the hour mark as Lautaro Martinez struck just wide after a beautiful back-to-front move had played him in on goal.

And so it was no surprise the Argentine made no mistake in firing home a beauty from the edge of the box moments later to bring the tie to life and put the fear into Liverpool.


It was at this point, however, that events brought to mind the popular expression which states it is better to be lucky than good when it comes to sport.

Yes, you could argue that Alexis Sanchez was fortunate to still be on the pitch having clearly caught Thiago Alcantara with a studs-up challenge in the opening 45 minutes.

But he probably did not deserve to see a second yellow for a light nick on Fabinho after winning the ball, under two minutes having passed since the Chile forward had set up Martinez's strike.

Coming so shortly after the opening goal, that blow sucked all momentum out of Inzaghi's men, effectively handing Liverpool passage into the quarter-finals on a platter, with Inter not registering another attempt on goal from that point on.

Still, even if the circumstances were somewhat fortuitous, it is hardly likely to have taken the shine off the result for Klopp, whose team have now reached the Champions League last eight in four of the last five seasons.

He would no doubt have preferred to have witnessed a more convincing performance that struck fear into Liverpool's rivals for European glory this season.

But perhaps what he got was in some ways better: another reminder that this team can see off even elite teams when not at their best. 

As this manager and players are all too aware, you need a combination of quality, mentality and luck to go all in the way in the Champions League, and Liverpool called on all three at various stages of what was a fascinating tie.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti says the French giants must be at 100 per cent to seal Champions League qualification against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The Ligue 1 leaders head to the Santiago Bernabeu with a 1-0 first leg lead after Kylian Mbappe's superb late winner at the Parc des Princes as they bid for a first ever European crown.

Madrid failed to register a single shot on target in Paris, just the second time they have done so in the Champions League since 2003-04, with the other occasion also coming against PSG in September 2019.

But Verratti has urged his team-mates to forget about their first leg triumph and says PSG will come unstuck if they perform at anything less than 100 per cent.

"I don't think we can think about the first leg and the result too much", the Italy international said. "It's like we played the first half and we've still got the second half to play. 

"We've got a slight advantage but that doesn't mean anything. We can't just look to defend, especially because that's not our style of play. We don't know how to do that. 

"We'll need to try and play our game and be at 100 per cent, whether it's mentally or technically. 

"We need to do our best to put in a big performance because against Madrid, 80 per cent won't be enough. 

"They won't give us anything for free. We'll need to earn qualification and [we will] go there to win."


PSG are looking to avoid an all-too familiar Champions League collapse when they visit Spain. They have been eliminated from three of their eight Champions League knockout ties after winning the first leg. Only Barcelona (four times) and Real Madrid (six times) have been eliminated in this fashion more often.

Verratti featured in their Champions League final loss to Bayern Munich in 2020 as well as a series of other European near-misses, and remains determined to bring continental success to the club that he joined in 2012. 

"I'm in love with this club," the midfielder said. "I have grown up with the club, I have been here for 10 years. It's a special team, special in every way. 

"It's a team that I know will one day do even more than it does today, and that it will be even more incredible.

"We know that there are other teams who have the same goal as us, but we are getting closer. We have made a final and a semi-final in two consecutive years, and it's not easy to achieve in this competition where you always play great teams. 

"But we have to try and give it our all. We need to be at 100 per cent, then we can leave the pitch with our heads held high."

Inter boss Simone Inzaghi has stressed the importance of a fast start for his team when they face Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, saying it is "essential" they score in the first half at Anfield.

The Premier League side take a 2-0 lead into Tuesday's game after goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah settled a tight encounter at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in the first leg.

Only one team in Champions League history has lost the first leg of a knockout stage tie by two or more goals at home and still gone on to progress, with Manchester United doing so against Paris Saint-Germain in the 2018-19 last 16 (0-2 at home, 3-1 away).

However, speaking at a media conference on Monday ahead of the game, Inzaghi said his team were "unlucky" in the previous game and backed them to respond.

"We were unlucky [in the first leg]. I think the result was harsh," he said. "We played a great game and deserved more.

"This is a hard match. We will face a great team, but we have confidence. We are full of motivation."


He was also reminded of last season's campaign when he was still in charge at Lazio and lost the first leg at the same stage of the Champions League 4-1 at home to Bayern Munich, eventually losing 6-2 on aggregate to the Bundesliga giants.

When asked his thoughts on how to approach this game, Inzaghi added: "I think we are not in pole position. We know we need to score early. A goal in the first half is essential.

"We know the challenge we face. Liverpool are one of the best teams around along with Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Anfield is a great stadium. It is great to be a part of this occasion. The first leg was spectacular, but we know this will be a tougher game."

Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni also gave his thoughts ahead of the clash on Merseyside, and was asked if the front three of Jurgen Klopp's team is the strongest he has faced.

"The trio of Liverpool? I have faced many top strikers," the Italy international said. "I have faced the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, [Karim] Benzema, Vincius [Junior]. They have some top forwards such as Salah, [Sadio] Mane, Diogo [Jota].

"We need to play as a team. This is an important experience for us... We will learn and grow from this."

Former Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri believes his old club can win the quadruple this season, as the EFL Cup winners prepare to host Inter in the Champions League.

The 30-year-old, who is now plying his trade in Major League Soccer after joining Chicago Fire in February, won the Champions League, Premier League, and FIFA Club World cup titles in a three-year spell at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side defeated Chelsea to win the EFL Cup last month, and are preparing for a Champions League second-leg clash with the Italian champions, boasting a 2-0 lead from the first leg at San Siro.

With the Reds sitting just six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and advancing to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, recent talk has surrounded the prospect of Klopp's men completing an unprecedented quadruple this term.

Shaqiri, who scored eight goals in 63 appearances for the club, has talked up their chances of doing so, as long as the Reds can keep their key players fit.

"They must do everything perfect, to win everything", Shaqiri told Sky Sports. 

"But if one team can do it, then for sure Liverpool is one of them.

"I think it's important to go from competition to competition, because there are so many with the Carabao [EFL Cup], FA Cup, and they are still in all of these competitions.

"Everyone needs to be fit and healthy, because injuries as you know are always difficult to deal with, but Liverpool have a great team and they dealt until now with everything.

"I'm really looking forward to the end of the season, [to see] how they're going to finish, but everything is possible." 

Liverpool's recent EFL Cup triumph represented the 10th major trophy of Klopp's coaching career, and the in-form Anfield side have not lost a game in any competition since a 1-0 reverse to Leicester City on December 28th. 

Pep Guardiola has acknowledged that Manchester City are in need of a striker.

The Citizens have not had an out-and-out attacker in the traditional sense since Sergio Aguero left the club at the end of last season.

Attempts to recruit a quality replacement last summer ultimately proved to be thwarted for Guardiola, with multiple offers for Harry Kane knocked back, among others.

An approach to Cristiano Ronaldo was also hijacked by neighbours Manchester United, who sealed a homecoming for the Portuguese from Juventus.

Since then, a host of players including Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus have helped to plug the gap up front, while Ferran Torres was occasionally used before his move to Barcelona

While the lack of a traditional player in that role has not dented City's prospects this season, nor hindered their grip on the summit, Guardiola has admitted that City will look to recruit for the role again at the end of the campaign.

"I think the club needs a striker, definitely," the Spaniard said ahead of Sunday's derby clash with United.

"You say we play fantastically well without a striker because we are winning. When we are not winning, you say we need a striker.

"[You say] 'how do these guys play without a striker? In the Premier League you have to play with a striker'. So, we need a striker, I think the club is going to try [to buy one]."

City did purchase Julian Alvarez in January, before loaning him immediately back to River Plate, but it remains to be seen whether the Argentina international could be a long-term solution.

Carlo Ancelotti has refuted suggestions that he could use Real Madrid's upcoming league games to prepare for their crucial Champions League second leg clash with Paris Saint-Germain, for which Casemiro and Ferland Mendy will be suspended.

Casemiro and Mendy picked up decisive yellow cards in the LaLiga leaders' 1-0 first-leg defeat to PSG, ruling them out of the crucial second leg in Spain next month. 

Brazil midfielder Casemiro has appeared in all seven of Real's Champions League games this season, while left-back Mendy has made five appearances, both establishing themselves as key parts of Ancelotti's attempts to bring the Spanish and European crowns back to the Bernabeu.

Speaking ahead of a trip to Rayo Vallecano, Ancelotti insisted that he will not use upcoming games to find the right balance for Real's reunion with PSG, highlighting the importance of their league fixtures.

"What can I tell you? It would be a good idea [to experiment] if we had friendly games," he said.

"But we have two really important games, finals, against Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad.

"Two victories would mean a lot in order to win LaLiga, [so] I will play my best starting 11 in the games before Paris Saint-Germain.

"Toni Kroos can replace Casemiro, but he doesn't need to get used to playing that [deeper] position, he has played it many times.

"I have experienced players, I don’t need to try new things. I Haven't thought yet about who will replace Casemiro and Mendy, as we have two really important matches before that."

UEFA has called an emergency meeting of its executive committee for Friday to discuss the developing situation between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia launched a military assault on Ukraine on Thursday, having previously recognised the independence of two breakaway regions in the east of the country.

The ongoing crisis has brought scrutiny to May's Champions League final, which is due to be held in the Russian city of St Petersburg.

Recent reports have suggested European football's showpiece event could be moved to another country, and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has now called an emergency meeting of the governing body's leadership to take place on Friday.

A statement from UEFA read: "Following the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the UEFA president has decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee for Friday, February 25 at 10:00 CET, in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions.

"Further communication will be made after the meeting of the UEFA executive committee."

UEFA-partnered fan group Football Supporters Europe (FSE) has publicly called for the relocation of May's Champions League final – currently set for the Russian city of St Petersburg – after the country launched an attack on neighbouring Ukraine. 

Russian president Vladimir Putin opted to launch a military assault on Ukraine on Thursday, having previously recognised the independence of two breakaway regions in the east of the country.

Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, responded by cutting diplomatic ties with Moscow and announcing the imposition of martial law.

As such, pressure is growing on UEFA to move European club football's biggest game away from the Gazprom Arena as a result of Russia's actions.

The FSE, an independent fans' organisation that is recognised as a representative association on fan issues by the likes of UEFA and the Council of Europe, has called for the governing body to strip Russia of the showpiece event.

"On this tragic day, our thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine, our friends, colleagues, members and their loved ones," read a post on the FSE's official Twitter account.

"Given the events unfolding, we expect an imminent announcement from UEFA on the relocation of the Champions League final from St Petersburg."

UEFA said in a statement earlier this week that there were "no plans" for a venue change, but pressure could now reach intolerable levels given the escalation of the crisis.

Last season's final between Chelsea and Manchester City was relocated to Porto from Istanbul with only two weeks' notice, as Turkey was on the United Kingdom's 'red' list, meaning fans were urged not to travel for the game due to coronavirus risk levels.

Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his pleasure at being back in Madrid after Manchester United secured a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Teenager Anthony Elanga came off the bench to equalise for United after a first-half Joao Felix header had put the hosts in front.

The second leg at Old Trafford will be played on March 15.

Ronaldo spent nine years at Real Madrid after his first stint with the Red Devils, winning four Champions League crowns and two LaLiga titles among a vast array of honours at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Portugal international also boasts an impressive record against Atletico, having scored 25 goals in 36 matches against them, only managing more versus Sevilla during his entire career.

Four of Ronaldo's club hat-tricks have come against Atletico, two of which have been netted in the Champions League – no other player has recorded more against a single opponent in Europe's top club tournament.


However, he was unable to find the net on Wednesday. It was Elanga who had the honour of scoring United's 500th goal in the European Cup/ Champions League.

Ronaldo seemed satisfied with his night's work though, taking to Instagram to write: "Always a great feeling to be back in Madrid, one of the few cities in the world that I've learned to call 'home'.

"Great feelings, great players, great game, this is the Champions League! The mother of all club competitions! 

"Now we have the opportunity to close this for us in our stadium, showing everybody why Old Trafford is and will always be The Theatre of Dreams.

"Last but not least, thanks to our amazing supporters! Your presence make us stronger, and together we will go forward! Let's go, Devils!"

Even if not quite the force they once were, Manchester United still like to show their fans their ambitions match up, especially in the transfer market.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has the job of ensuring the Red Devils qualify for next season's Champions League and is currently on course, with them sitting fourth in the Premier League.

However, the club supposedly remain confident of adding big names at the end of the season regardless of a top-four finish.



Manchester United believe they can attract big names to Old Trafford at the end of the season, even if they may not have Champions League football to offer.

According to ESPN, the Premier League club have an ambitious list of targets that includes England pair Declan Rice and Harry Kane, and they believe the 2016 signing of Paul Pogba – when they were in the Europa League – is proof the name of the club is enticing enough.

It remains to be seen what that means for whomever the incoming permanent manager is by then, but they will likely not say no to additions of that calibre.


Atletico Madrid are plotting a move for Georginio Wijnaldum from Paris Saint-Germain, according to Fichajes.

- Calciomercato claims Inter wish to add Torino defender Bremer to their ranks next season and may already have an agreement with the player.

- Meanwhile, Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is being pursued on a free transfer by both Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, 90min reports.

- The Catalan giants could get one in return though as they have offered a two-year deal to Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta, according to Sport.

- Marca is reporting Tottenham are looking at Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon as a potential long-term replacement for Hugo Lloris.

Roma could reignite their interest in Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka at the end of the season, Calciomercato says.

Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid has often felt like a never-ending transfer saga, but it appears a resolution might now be in sight.

Los Blancos are apparently confident of getting the Paris Saint-Germain star in 2022 even though their performance did not impress him in the Champions League.

However, Madrid do have a back-up plan.



Real Madrid believe they will win the battle to sign Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2022.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are preparing to announce the deal at the end of the season, according to Goal.

However, should their efforts to sign Mbappe or Erling Haaland fail, Madrid have a back-up plan: Fichajes claims they will submit an offer for Sadio Mane.


Arsenal are interested in signing Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid, according to television show El Chiringuito.

Manchester United have been quoted €75million (£62.5m) for RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku, Bild says.

- Meanwhile, United striker Edinson Cavani is ready to listen to an offer to join Botafogo when his contract expires, Goal claims.

- According to Sport, Tottenham have submitted the firmest offer to sign Paulo Dybala from Juventus, but Barcelona and Inter are also interested.

Milan are resigned to losing Franck Kessie after this season and could replace him with Renato Sanches, Tuttosport says.

UEFA has decided to move the Champions League final from St Petersburg, according to the BBC. The game could be held in London.

Dusan Vlahovic was left with mixed feelings about his Champions League debut after Juventus' 1-1 draw with Villarreal. 

The former Fiorentina striker found the back of the net just 32 seconds into the first leg of the last-16 tie in Spain – the fastest goal in the competition by a full debutant. 

Vlahovic demonstrated tremendous instincts as he controlled Danilo's lofted ball on his chest and slotted into the far corner past a flat-footed Geronimo Rulli. 

Juventus were unable to preserve their advantage, though. Dani Parejo equalised in the 66th minute to leave the contest finely poised ahead of the second leg on March 16. 

While the Serbia international was thrilled to be on target, he admitted the result took the shine off his achievement. 

"It was huge to score on my debut; it was very emotional. However, I cannot be 100 per cent satisfied because we have not won the game," he said. 

"We have to keep working hard. We played a good game and we could have won.  

"We tried to play well also in the second half but sometimes the opposition do not allow you to do what you want to do. So, congratulations to them for equalising.  

"There are some regrets, but we must just focus on the next game." 

Meanwhile, head coach Massimiliano Allegri was left frustrated by the manner of Villarreal's equaliser. 

An unmarked Parejo was allowed to drift into the penalty area and sweep Etienne Capoue's lofted pass beyond Wojciech Szczesny. 

"We made a bad mistake on their equaliser," Allegri said. "We perfectly knew that they were trying that move and we still allowed them to score. However, the team played a good game in general.  

"We made a few mistakes also in attack; straying offside when we had good chances on the counter-attack.  

"In general, I'm quite satisfied with the performance." 

Dusan Vlahovic made Juventus history by striking inside the opening minute of their Champions League clash with Villarreal on Tuesday.

The Serbia international, who was making his debut in the competition after moving from Fiorentina last month, put the Bianconeri ahead after just 32 seconds at El Madrigal.

Controlling Danilo's long ball before slotting past Geronimo Rulli, Vlahovic became only the third player to score inside the opening minute of his first Champions League start.

Following in the footsteps of Andreas Moller (for Borussia Dortmund against Juventus in 1995) and Ishak Belfodil (for Hoffenheim against Manchester City in 2018), Vlahovic's was the fastest Champions League goal by a debutant playing for Juve.

Only the second Juve player to score in the first minute of any match in this competition – after Alessandro Del Piero against Manchester United in 1997 – the 22-year-old also became the first to net on his Bianconeri debut in the modern knockout-stage format.

It was the earliest goal in a Champions League knockout game since David Alaba struck against Juve after just 24 seconds for Bayern Munich in 2013.

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