|Attempts on target||41||59|
|Attempts off target||45||64|
He may be a callow 20-year-old but Club Atlético de Madrid's defensive prodigy Álvaro Domínguez does not need telling that victory over FC Porto is paramount as "the last thing we want is not to carry on playing in Europe".
A UEFA Champions League first knockout round place is no longer a possibility for Quique Sánchez Flores's side, but a place in next Friday's UEFA Europa League round of 32 draw will be theirs provided they maintain their one-point advantage over APOEL FC, who visit section winners Chelsea FC in their final game in Group D. "We want to give the fans a win and remain among the best sides," said Domínguez. "We can't go on in the Champions League but it's good to get into the Europa League. We need to win because the fans deserve it. If we don't, qualification will not be in our hands."
A regular in defence since Quique Flores replaced Abel Resino as Atlético coach in October, Domínguez has emerged as a major talent and it was a relief when he was declared fit for the meeting with Porto at the Vicente Calderón. The player, meanwhile, is pleased to see the club's situation improving. Atlético are not out of the woods, but Saturday's 2-0 win at Xerez CD earned successive league wins for the first time this season. "We are reaping the rewards for hard work over the past few weeks," said Domínguez. "Quique Sánchez Flores has instilled a very good work ethic. We are a tougher, more competitive team now."
'A hint of revenge'
That new-found spirit will be tested against Porto, and Domínguez says his team-mates are only too aware of the gravity of the situation. "We know we must see this match like a final," said the youngster, whose side lost to the Dragons in last season's first knockout round. "Porto are a great club and showed it last year when they came here and knocked us out. There is a hint of revenge [on our minds] but we have to be on our game against every opponent."
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