Atletico Madrid used dirty tactics to win Champions League tie against Manchester United, Ralf Rangnick says as he slams the referee.
Manchester United were eliminated in a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford through Renan Lodi’s first-half header but the United players, staff and supporters were constantly agitated by Vincic’s officiating.
Tempers boiled over on and off the pitch, with United’s players growing increasingly frustrated by Atletico’s tactics and fans aiming abuse at the Spanish side and their manager.
Rangnick criticizes Man U-Atletico Madrid Champions League referee
Ralf Rangnick accused referee Slavko Vincic of making it ‘easy’ for Atletico Madrid to waste time in their Champions League victory over Manchester United.
Rangnick felt United were the better side in the first half but said the second half did not go two minutes ‘without being interrupted by someone lying on the floor’ – yet only four minutes of added time were signaled.
“I think we played a good first-half,” Rangnick said. “All those things that we planned to do in the first-half the team did, the only thing we didn’t achieve is to convert that energetic performance into the first goal, and against a team like Atletico it’s highly important you score the first goal and it’s more important not to concede a goal and we conceded just before half-time.
“That goal, in a transitional moment, I believe it was a foul on Anthony Elanga, the referee and linesman didn’t see it that way. We shouldn’t have been 1-0 down at half-time, we were the better team in the first half. It’s important to score first and even more so against a team like Atletico.
“In the second half, I don’t know if the game was played for more than two minutes without being interrupted by someone lying on the floor, there were some curious refereeing decisions, I wouldn’t necessarily say decisive, maybe the one they scored.
“He (the referee) made it pretty easy for Atletico to do their time-wasting antics and it didn’t make it any easier for us. That’s how they play for the last 10 years, they always play like that. I was not surprised.”
After the game, Atletico Madrid’s coach Diego Simeone immediately ran down the touchline in the direction of the tunnel, only to be pelted by a number of drinks and other objects from the home fans.
Asked if he was aware of the missiles thrown by angry United supporters, Simeone said: ‘No, when I came off the pitch, I ran because I was happy and I like to enjoy it in the dressing room.
‘So I don’t know what happened. What you just said, all I was thinking about was getting into the changing room to the dressing room, and I was really happy.’