Madrid, April 13 (IANS) A first-half penalty from Antoine Griezmann was enough to give Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie at home to Leicester City.
The win was well-deserved as Atletico dominated possession and had most of the game in the visitors’ half, but Leicester can rightly complain that the penalty should never have been given, as foul was clearly outside of the penalty area, reports Xinhua news agency.
As expected the game began with Leicester, who were without injured captain Wes Morgan, happy to play deep in their own half and soak up pressure from the Spanish side.
Atletico also showed that they were willing to try their fortune from outside the penalty area with both their strikers Koke and Saul Niguez willing to try their luck with long rangers.
Koke rattled the post after just four minutes, while Yannick Carrasco also went close from the right of the Leicester area.
Atletico opened the scoring in controversial fashion in the 28th minute — Leicester had enjoyed a good spell of possession, but were caught on the break by Antoine Griezmann, who ran almost the length of the pitch before being brought down by Mark Albrighton.
The referee pointed to the penalty spot and although television replays showed the foul was at least a foot outside of the penalty area, Griezmann sent Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot to open the scoring.
Andy King replaced Okasaki at half time for the visitors, perhaps a sign that they didn’t want the result to be any worse, but Atletico Madrid continued to enjoy the lion’s share of the ball against a Leicester side that looked as if they would be satisfied with a narrow defeat.
Fernando Torres fell over in comical style when presented with half a chance on the hour, but despite Atletico’s pressure, clear chances were few and far between, while Atletico keeper Jan Oblak didn’t have to make a single save in the entire game.
The tie is still in the balance, but with their counter-attacking strength, Atletico will be confident of sealing their place in the last four next week in England.