A last-gasp Simão free-kick gave Club Atlético de Madrid first place in UEFA Cup Group B at the expense of Panathinaikos FC although both teams were already through to the Round of 32.
Panathinaikos had not dropped a point before tonight and looked on course for a fourth win when Dimitrios Salpingidis put them ahead in the first half. But Luis García equalised with 16 minutes left and despite Raúl García's dismissal, Simão struck deep into added time for one of two teams surviving from the summer's UEFA Intertoto Cup in this competition. The victory means Atlético will be paired with a team finishing third in a UEFA Cup group in Friday's draw, while Panathinaikos must play a team who ended in that position in the UEFA Champions League.
Salpingidis had an early shot blocked by Christian Abbiati while Maxi Rodríguez and Diego Forlán were denied for the home side. Raúl García forced Arkadiusz Malarz to save his long-range shot and at the other end Mattos curled a free-kick over the bar. Luis García did similar for Atlético but the away side broke the deadlock when Marcelo Mattos found Salpingidis who shot in from just inside the box. Mattos also threatened not long before the break.
Panathinaikos midfielder Simão – not to be confused with his Portuguese namesake brought on at half-time by Atlético - came mightily close to doubling the lead while Loukas Vintra shot over. It was not to be as Forlán's pass was turned in by Luis García and, although Raúl García was then dismissed for foul and abusive language, Malarz was forced to save from Agüero before the forward was fouled outside the box by Nasief Morris and Simão stepped up to devastating effect.