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Atleti were without both Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann in the starting XI for the fixture but Felix stepped up to the mark mere minutes in at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The La Liga winners put United under serious pressure early on and after a corner was just about cleared, Renan Lodi breezed past compatriot Fred and whipped in an incredible cross from the left.
Felix cutely ran across United skipper Maguire at the near post and produced an exquisite and powerful header that bounced off the post and past David De Gea in the seventh minute.
It was the definition of a bullet header from the Portugal international, who had gone seven Champions League games without scoring before this opener.
The former Benfica forward is not known for his aerial abilities but showed he has many strings to his bow.
Joao Felix gliding past Harry Maguire pic.twitter.com/vOHbzD7J4Z— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) February 23, 2022
Joao Felix reminding everyone that he exists and is a top talent— Jordan Elgott (@JElgott) February 23, 2022
Renan Lodi and Joao Felix combining to put Atletico ahead vs Manchester United— CrossAndNod (@crossandnodFT) February 23, 2022
Game onnnnnn! pic.twitter.com/wSsQz5hTOq
Cristiano Ronaldo, making a return to Madrid, would have been proud of the hang-time and subsequent header from his international colleague.
Still only 22, Felix is one of the most exciting young talents in world football and joined Atletico in a club-record €120 million switch.
He's scored 24 times for Atleti but many feel as though it hasn't been the right move for the way he plays.
Leaked WhatsApp messages reveal agent Jorge Mendes was hoping his client would link up with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Featured Image Credit: Image: BT Sport
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