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Atlético hold on to reach the last four again

Published: Tuesday 18 April 2017, 22.45CET
Atlético are through to the semi-finals for the third time in four seasons but only after enduring a second-half onslaught from a Leicester side who refused to go down without a fight.

Match statistics

LeicesterAtlético

Goals scored1
 
1
Possession (%)51
 
49
Total attempts21
 
6
on target4
 
3
off target8
 
3
blocked9
 
0
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners7
 
1
Offsides1
 
2
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed9
 
7
Fouls suffered6
 
9
Passes488
 
400
completed392
 
301

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 18 April 2017, 22.45CET

Atlético hold on to reach the last four again

Atlético are through to the semi-finals for the third time in four seasons but only after enduring a second-half onslaught from a Leicester side who refused to go down without a fight.

Atlético Madrid survived a second-half onslaught from Leicester to reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the third time in four seasons.

Home hopes appeared all but extinguished when Saúl Ñíguez's fine header midway through the first half left the Foxes needing to score three. But Jamie Vardy's reply just after the hour rekindled the dream and for a time a sensational comeback was on the cards.

With the waspish Vardy popping up everywhere, Leicester peppered the visitors' goal. Diego Simeone was even more animated than usual, yet his Atlético players held out, a series of committed last-ditch blocks maintaining their two-goal cushion.

So Atlético advance, with more of a limp than a march. Leicester's incredible debut adventure comes to an end – and true to form, they didn't go down without a fight.

©AFP/Getty Images

Saúl heads in the decisive goal

Key player: Saúl Ñíguez
The Spaniard is renowned for his versatility, and his role on the right of midfield got the best out of his all-round skillset. We again witnessed his capacity to pop up in key matches with a moment of true quality. He positioned himself perfectly to meet Filipe Luís's centre and sent it back across Kasper Schmeichel and into the net. He is building up an impressive collection of crucial goals: Bayern, Real Madrid and now this.

Shakespeare's switches
For a managerial novice Craig Shakespeare has certainly shown he is a fast learner. In the first leg his half-time switch to five across midfield helped curb the menace of Antoine Griezmann. Here his introduction of Leonardo Ulloa and Ben Chilwell transformed the contest too. Chilwell had a terrific 45 minutes down the left and helped set up the equaliser. Ulloa gave the Atleti defence something else to worry about as the Foxes went more direct.

Atleti take centre ground
Simeone prepped José María Giménez for the central midfield slot he filled so well here by deploying him in front of the back four at the weekend. The benefits were much more pronounced against a Leicester side with such aerial threat, the Uruguayan regularly dropping back to help out. The move also gave Saúl more freedom down the right, meaning he could slip in undetected to head the vital away goal.

©AFP/Getty Images

Jamie Vardy gets Leicester back in it

Reporters' views
Simon Hart, Leicester (@UEFAcomSimonH)
A bridge too far for Leicester. This is a club, remember, who'd won one European tie in their entire history before September. Simply being in the quarter-finals against an Atleti team who've played two finals in the past three years, was something to celebrate. Hence the terrific sense of occasion with the colour and noise before kick-off. It would have been a pity had the contest fallen flat thereafter but Leicester came out and made a game of it in a breathless second half. It takes something to rattle Atleti, but Leicester managed it.

Richard Martin, Atlético (@UEFAcomRichardM)
Atlético are always up for a fight. They defended with backs to the wall for much of the second period, with four centre-backs on the pitch in the end. Leicester threw everything at them but it all came straight back. The Spaniards' resilient rearguard is one of the main reasons they have made the semi-finals three times in four seasons, although the quality of attacking players such as Saúl and Griezmann sure helps.

Griezmann: We had to dig deep

Last updated: 02/05/17 18.49CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2017/matches/round=2000785/match=2019635/postmatch/report/index.html#atletico+through+last+four

Lineups

leicester

Leicester

atlético

Atlético

1
SchmeichelKasper Schmeichel (GK)
13
OblakJan Oblak (GK)
4
DrinkwaterDanny Drinkwater
2
GodínDiego Godín
5
MorganWes Morgan (C)
Substitution84
3
Filipe LuísFilipe Luís
Substitution74
9
VardyJamie Vardy
Goal61
6
KokeKoke
11
AlbrightonMarc Albrighton
7
GriezmannAntoine Griezmann
17
SimpsonDanny Simpson
8
Saúl ÑíguezSaúl Ñíguez
Goal26
20
OkazakiShinji Okazaki
Substitution46
10
CarrascoYannick Carrasco
Substitution69
25
NdidiWilfred Ndidi
14
GabiGabi (C)
26
MahrezRiyad Mahrez
15
SavićStefan Savić
28
FuchsChristian Fuchs
20
JuanfranJuanfran
Substitution55
29
BenalouaneYohan Benalouane
Substitution46
24
GiménezJosé María Giménez

Substitutes

21
ZielerRon-Robert Zieler (GK)
1
MoyàMiguel Ángel Moyà (GK)
3
ChilwellBen Chilwell
Substitution46
9
TorresFernando Torres
Substitution69
7
MusaAhmed Musa
11
CorreaÁngel Correa
Substitution74
10
KingAndy King
19
LucasLucas Hernández
Substitution55
13
AmarteyDaniel Amartey
Substitution84
21
GameiroKevin Gameiro
22
GrayDemarai Gray
22
ThomasThomas
23
UlloaLeonardo Ulloa
Substitution46
23
GaitánNicolás Gaitán

Coach

Craig Shakespeare (ENG) Diego Simeone (ARG)

Referee

Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Assistant referees

Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA), Mauro Tonolini (ITA)

Fourth official

Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)

Additional assistant referees

Davide Massa (ITA), Daniele Doveri (ITA)

Legend:

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