Its been a season of near perfect results for Diego Simoene’s men when it was down to the big games. A disappointing draw against their cross-town rivals Real despite a performance deserving all 3 points snatched away the chance to go top of the league – where they currently are. However, against a near full-strength Barcelona side in the quarter-final of the Champions League the Madrid side had their work cut-out. A solitary goal from playmaker Koke ensured Simeone’s men a well-deserved place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Holding a crucial away goal advantage, Atletico had to make sure they didn’t concede anything if they were to make it to the semis. They began the game in the same fashion as they have surprised the world with their recent performances. A super-swift start was duly rewarded by a goal in just the 5th minute of the game. After some stellar work down the right, Adrian fired a shot that cannoned off the woodwork only to fall to David Villa on the left who kept his composure and calmly floated the ball across to the far-post where Adrian was present again and laid it back for Koke to fire home from close range. The young Spanish playmaker is making his case for a national team selection ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, smashed the volley into the Barca goal handing Atleti a priceless advantage.

Atletico had chances enough to win a couple of games as David Villa struck the post twice and missed a host of chances as they game progressed. Such was the level of Atletico’s performance that everytime they broke the Catalan defence wobbled. To be fair, none of the Barca players were having a particularly great outing as Messi, Xavi and Neymar missed a collection of opportunities to level the score in the tie.

Late into the game, Atletico’s Uruguyan winger Cristian Rodriguez had a chance to put the tie to rest for good but the left-footed wide-man could only fire his shot at Barca keeper Jose Manuel Pinto.

Little did all of Atletico’s missed opportunities matter as the stubborn Madrid side made a rather tricky outing a relatively comfortable one even after missing key playing in Arda Turan and Diego Costa due to injuries. A side not to be underestimated,  for sure. 


    Related Posts

    Putin allows athletes to compete at Winter Olympics as neutrals

    Moscow, Dec 12: President Vladimir Putin has backed the decision made by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to clear national athletes for participation in the...

    I trust a lot in my preparation, says teenaged Sundar

    Mohali, Dec 12: Despite failing the Yo-Yo test, a requisite to make it to the national squad, teenaged all-rounder Washington Sundar on Tuesday justified his...

    Sindhu, Srikanth aim to end 2017 on a high at Superseries Finals

    Dubai, Dec 12: Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will hope to end 2017 on a high when they compete in the season-ending World...
    India aim to bounce back in second ODI vs Sri Lanka

    India aim to bounce back in second ODI vs Sri Lanka

    Mohali, Dec 12: Still licking their wounds after the humiliation in Dharamsala, India will be aiming to roar back when they face a rejuvenated Sri...

    Paraguay Striker Barrios on River Plate Radar

    Buenos Aires, Dec 12: Argentine football giants River Plate are considering making a bid to sign Paraguay international forward Lucas Barrios from Brazil's Gremio, according...