David de Gea has admitted Manchester United are “far away” from challenging in the Premier League and Champions League after being eliminated from Europe by Atletico Madrid.
Atletico defeated United 1-0 at Old Trafford as the LaLiga side advanced 2-1 on aggregate and into the Champions League quarterfinals. The loss condemns United to another year without a trophy after last lifting silverware in 2017 and De Gea accepted it will go down as a “bad year.”
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“It’s difficult to describe with words how I feel, how we feel,” said De Gea, “It’s another tough moment for us. It is too many years without any trophies.
“I think we need to be clear, we want to achieve good things, fight for trophies, we don’t just want to play for the top four, and be there so we need much more from everyone because this club is too big for where we are now.
“We are far from fighting for the Premier League and Champions League. We need much more from everyone.”
United interim manager Ralf Rangnick was left to rue referee Slavko Vincic’s decision not to award a foul on Anthony Elanga in the build up to Atletico’s goal, scored by Renan Lodi in the 41st minute. The German was also critical of what he branded the Spanish side’s “time-wasting antics” during the second half as Atletico held on to book their place in the last eight.
“I believe it was a foul on Anthony Elanga, the referee and linesman didn’t see it that way,” said Rangnick.
“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 with someone lying on the floor.
“There were some curious refereeing decisions, I wouldn’t necessarily say decisive. The referee made it pretty easy for Atletico to do their time-wasting antics and it didn’t make it any easier for us.”
At the final whistle, Atletico manager Diego Simeone appeared to be pelted with objects from the crowd as he sprinted down the touchline and into the tunnel but the Argentinian insisted he wasn’t aware of the incident.
“I came off the pitch happy and I like to enjoy it in the dressing room,” said Simeone. “I don’t know what happened.”