Club Atlético de Madrid made sure of a successful return to the UEFA Champions League by producing an impressive victory against FC Zenit.
After a 45-month absence from the competition, during which time they won the UEFA Europa League twice, Diego Simeone's side took time to get into their stride but Miranda's header shortly before the break set them on their way. A spectacular second-half effort from Hulk brought the visitors level but Atlético responded strongly and Arda Turan and substitute Léo Baptistão struck in the final half-hour to secure a winning start to Group G.
We knew that the match was going to be very tough because Zenit have very good players. Listening to the UEFA Champions League anthem is very exciting.
Léo Baptistão, Atlético striker
Atlético are riding the crest of a wave right now and you can see the strong spirit that helped them more than us in the individual battles.
Luciano Spalletti, Zenit coach
|13||Courtois (GK)||1||Lodygin (GK)|
|14||Gabi (C)||18||Zyryanov (C)|
|1||Aranzubia (GK)||71||Baburin (GK)|
|Diego Simeone (ARG)||Luciano Spalletti (ITA)|
|William Collum (SCO)|
|A||Real Sociedad||Shakhtar Donetsk|