Manchester United must win the Champions League this season if they want to end a five-year wait for a major honour and take on Atletico Madrid in Spain on Wednesday
Cristiano Ronaldo has urged his Manchester United team-mates to focus on their Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid after beating Leeds on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Devils take on the Spanish champions in Madrid on Wednesday evening, with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
The Champions League is United’s last chance of winning silverware this season and ending a five-year wait for a major trophy.
Ralf Rangnick’s side warmed up for Wednesday’s clash by winning 4-2 at Elland Road thanks to goals from Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Anthony Elanga.
The result leaves United fourth in the Premier League, four points clear of West Ham in fifth.
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They’re also four points clear of Arsenal in sixth but have played three games more. Wolves and Tottenham remain in the hunt for Champions League football.
“Very important Premier League win before we change our focus to the Champions League and head to Madrid,” tweeted Ronaldo. “Back on track! We stand United!”
United established a 2-0 lead at Elland Road before two goals in two minutes from Leeds levelled the game. They rallied, however, to snatch all three points.
“Apart from the two managers, everybody probably enjoyed that game,” admitted Rangnick at full-time.
“It was not boring, it was always intense and you always expected something to happen. This is what football should be like.
“It took us 15 minutes to get control of the game but then we started to play well.
“At half time we were fully aware that we had to be on the front foot, but we conceded two goals in two minutes and that changed the whole game obviously.
“The atmosphere was amazing but we showed some maturity and kept our heads. We showed maturity and that was the only way to get control once again.”
On conceding two goals in two minutes, Rangnick added: “The first one was out of nowhere, the second one they did well.
“We maybe could have defended it better, but it was 2-2. We had the same experience at Aston Villa, so that was why the reaction was so important.
“This is the kind of attitude we need to show if we are to be successful this season, both in the Premier League and the Champions League.
“Not only the result, but the way we achieved it, is important for Wednesday [against Atletico] but also the upcoming league games.”
United captain Maguire added: “We needed to start the second half better, for sure.
“They came out right on top of us; their first goal is obviously really lucky and it got them right back in it and then they scored a good goal.
“We had to fight back and stick together; we knew it was a tough place to come but we knew we had qualities and could hurt them.
“We said at half time we needed to score more in the second half and we managed to do that.”