The official website for European football

Atlético have destiny in their own hands

Published: Tuesday 25 August 2009, 10.01CET
Panathinaikos FC must win in Spain for the first time to deny play-off rivals Club Atlético de Madrid a group-stage place yet home coach Abel Resino warned that "everything can still fall apart".
Atlético have destiny in their own hands
Atlético are within touching distance of a return to the group stage ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AtléticoPanathinaikos

Goals scored5
 
6
Attempts on target10
 
29
Attempts off target9
 
6
Corners14
 
22
Offsides1
 
16
Fouls committed35
 
50
Yellow cards0
11
Red cards0
1
 
Published: Tuesday 25 August 2009, 10.01CET

Atlético have destiny in their own hands

Panathinaikos FC must win in Spain for the first time to deny play-off rivals Club Atlético de Madrid a group-stage place yet home coach Abel Resino warned that "everything can still fall apart".

Club Atlético de Madrid enter the return leg of their play-off against Panathinaikos FC in pole position to advance to the UEFA Champions League group stage after a 3-2 first-leg win in Athens. But home coach Abel Resino warned against complacency on the eve of the match when he said: "When it seems that you've achieved everything, something happens and everything falls apart."

Quotes
Abel Resino, Atlético coach
We have never faced a game depending so much on ourselves – if we play with the same concentration, togetherness and attitude, and support from the fans, we should have no trouble eliminating Panathinaikos. But if we do not show a good attitude and don't respect the opposition, we will have many problems. The football world is complicated – when it seems that you've achieved everything, something happens and everything falls apart. We must be motivated because we are very close to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Henk ten Cate, Panathinaikos coach
Atlético Madrid are quite strong at home. We will have some chances to score for sure and we're going to play for our pride and the prestige of our club. Some players were affected psychologically by the fires in Athens, because they live close by. Yesterday the smoke was dense and the team doctors told us to refrain from training, because it would be hazardous for the players. [The injured Giorgos] Karagounis is a player of vast experience in UEFA Champions League matches and he will be missed tomorrow. We have a big squad, with players who may not have Karagounis's experience, but they have a big heart.

Key facts
• Panathinaikos travel to Madrid needing to win in Spain for the first time to advance. Atlético claimed victory away to Panathinaikos last Wednesday thanks to strikes from Maxi Rodríguez (36), Diego Forlán (63) and Sergio Agüero (70). Dimitris Salpingidis (47) brought the hosts level briefly at 1-1 before Sebastian Leto reduced the deficit to a single goal with his 74th-minute strike.

• Atlético would settle for a repeat of their one previous encounter with Panathinaikos – a 2-1 victory in the UEFA Cup group stage in the 2007/08 season.

• Panathinaikos's away record against Spanish clubs does not augur well for their chances – they have recorded nine defeats and one draw in ten previous visits. Atlético, by contrast, have a 100 per cent home record against Greek clubs with five wins from five matches.

• Ten Cate's side are seeking their ninth appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage. They have successfully negotiated the qualifying phase six times before, only being eliminated once by Rosenborg BK in 1996/97. Atlético are aiming to play in the group stage for the third time. Their first appearance in the qualifying phase came last season when they beat FC Schalke 04 in the third qualifying round.

How they reached the play-offs
• Los Colchoneros finished fourth in the 2008/09 Spanish Liga to enter the play-off round and are aiming to reach the group stage for a third time.

• Third in the Greek Super League last term, Panathinaikos topped a four-team play-off tournament to book a third qualifying round berth. There they staged a dramatic 3-0 second-leg victory over AC Sparta Praha to win 4-3 on aggregate. José Sarriegi, Kostas Katsouranis and Salpingidis all struck in Athens.

Team news
Atlético
Out: Mariano Pernía (broken collarbone), Ignacio Camacho (hip)
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: none

Panathinaikos
Out: Cédric Kanté (groin), Giorgos Karagounis (left foot)
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: Djibril Cissé, Gabriel, Bryce Moon, Nikos Spiropoulos

Weekend results
Atlético have not played a competitive game since the first leg

22/08/09 Ergotelis FC 0-3 Panathinaikos (Greek Super League)
(Cissé 9, Leto 40, 90 )

Did you know?
Panathinaikos must make history on two fronts to book a group-stage berth. Besides a maiden win on Spanish soil, they must also mount a first successful comeback from an opening home reverse in Europe. On the five previous occasions they entered a return fixture trailing after defeat in Athens, they went on to lose the tie.

Last updated: 25/08/09 21.29CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000027/match=2000363/prematch/preview/index.html#atletico+have+destiny+their+hands

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.