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Atlético hold Barcelona at bay

Published: Tuesday 1 April 2014, 22.51CET
FC Barcelona 1-1 Club Atlético de Madrid
Diego's thunderous drive was cancelled out by Neymar's well-worked equaliser as the first leg of the all-Spanish quarter-final finished level.
by Graham Hunter
from Camp Nou

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Match statistics

BarcelonaAtlético

Goals scored1
 
1
Possession (%)66
 
34
Total attempts18
 
6
on target12
 
3
off target6
 
3
blocked6
 
2
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners8
 
1
Offsides0
3
Yellow cards2
 
6
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed16
 
24
Fouls suffered22
 
15
Passes885
 
436
completed722
 
268

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 1 April 2014, 22.51CET

Atlético hold Barcelona at bay

FC Barcelona 1-1 Club Atlético de Madrid
Diego's thunderous drive was cancelled out by Neymar's well-worked equaliser as the first leg of the all-Spanish quarter-final finished level.

A volcanic match full of sumptuous skills left Club Atlético de Madrid with a slender advantage for next week's second leg thanks to Diego's invaluable and thrilling long-range goal – although Neymar's fine 71st-minute equaliser kept FC Barcelona firmly in this quarter-final.

Atlético, in the last eight for the first time since 1997, belied the first-half loss of talismanic forward Diego Costa to injury; his replacement, Diego, fired the visitors in front 11 minutes after half-time with a thunderous angled shot. Seeking a seventh successive semi-final appearance, Barcelona continued probing, however, and Neymar's fourth UEFA Champions League goal levelled matters 19 minutes from time – although perhaps the hidden hero was Thibaut Courtois, who made three world-class saves in the second period to ensure Atlético's efforts did not go unrewarded.

The opening half brimmed with intensity, invention and quality, with each side losing a key player early on. Gerard Piqué fell awkwardly following a challenge with Costa, then Costa himself pulled up feeling for the hamstring in his right leg. The supporting cast compensated for their departures.

The returning David Villa became Barça's chief tormentor. Diego Simeone had ordered his men to press high up the pitch and to try to prevent goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto from keeping the ball moving. The pressure worked. Barcelona sacrificed possession much more regularly than normal, most dangerously when Pinto kicked straight to Arda Turan, who found Villa for a snap-shot that curled just round the post.

Javier Mascherano's anticipation then won a crucial challenge and the ball was worked to Lionel Messi; Miranda blocked superbly. Diego Godín then did likewise to deny Andrés Iniesta, through on goal. Messi's header from a Daniel Alves cross forced Courtois to dive quickly before a long free-kick gave Villa another opening. Pinto pushed the attempt wide.

Atlético's breakthrough more than equalled the majesty of the match. Godín took a sharp free-kick but there seemed little danger from Diego, only for the substitute to unleash a shot to remember, bending the ball into the top corner from 25 metres.

Sergio Busquets replied promptly with a vicious volley which Courtois threw himself full length to touch round the post and the contest was sizzling. Fittingly, Barcelona's equaliser was wonderful. Iniesta held off and held off before splitting the defence and Neymar got ahead of Miranda to level with his right foot.

There was more drama to come, Courtois producing memorable saves from Iniesta's fizzing strike and a Messi free-kick in the closing stages, meaning the teams will reconvene at the Estadio Vicente Calderón all square.

Last updated: 07/04/14 16.03CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000481/match=2011871/postmatch/report/index.html#atletico+draw+barca

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

atlético

Atlético

13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
13
CourtoisThibaut Courtois (GK)
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
Substitution12
2
GodínDiego Godín
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Substitution68
3
Filipe LuísFilipe Luís
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández (C)
5
TiagoTiago
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Yellow Card56
6
KokeKoke
Yellow Card19
10
MessiLionel Messi
9
VillaDavid Villa
Substitution71
11
NeymarNeymar
Goal71
10
Arda TuranArda Turan
Yellow Card44
Substitution77
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
14
GabiGabi (C)
Yellow Card38
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
19
Diego CostaDiego Costa
Substitution30
18
Jordi AlbaJordi Alba
Yellow Card58
20
JuanfranJuanfran
Yellow Card52
22
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
23
MirandaMiranda

Substitutes

25
Oier OlazábalOier Olazábal (GK)
1
AranzubiaDaniel Aranzubia (GK)
7
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
4
Mario SuárezMario Suárez
9
Alexis SánchezAlexis Sánchez
Substitution68
11
Cristian RodríguezCristian Rodríguez
Substitution77
15
BartraMarc Bartra
Substitution12
12
AlderweireldToby Alderweireld
17
SongAlex Song
22
InsuaEmiliano Insua
21
AdrianoAdriano
24
SosaJosé Sosa
Substitution71
Yellow Card90+2
24
Sergi RobertoSergi Roberto
26
DiegoDiego
Substitution30
Goal56
Yellow Card79

Coach

Gerardo Martino (ARG) Diego Simeone (ARG)

Referee

Felix Brych (GER)

Assistant referees

Mark Borsch (GER), Stefan Lupp (GER)

Fourth official

Markus Häcker (GER)

Additional assistant referees

Tobias Welz (GER), Bastian Dankert (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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