Quique Sánchez Flores guided Club Atlético de Madrid to their first European semi-final in 11 years after Los Rojiblancos held Valencia CF to a scoreless draw at the Vicente Calderón and secured an away goals triumph.
Those expecting the intensity of the first leg – which ended 2-2 – to spill into the opening stages of the return encounter were left disappointed as both teams struggled to show a real cutting edge. Sergio Agüero, Atlético's top scorer in Europe this season, struck just wide from a tight angle and Antonio López tried his luck from distance shortly afterwards but his effort was watched wide by César Sánchez in the Valencia goal.
The former Real Madrid CF custodian looked more worried at the beginning of the second period when Diego Forlán bore down on his goal having been sent clean through by Paulo Assunção. Screams of despair soon followed from the home supporters, however, when the Uruguayan chipped wide of the upright. Spurred on, Atlético stepped up a gear and they went close again when Tomáš Ujfaluši controlled Agüero's cutback before firing at César.
Prior to Thursday's second leg, Forlán had scored in his previous five enounters and he could not have come closer to making it six 15 minutes before the end when he unleashed a fierce right-footed shot from distance that was expertly tipped on to the post by César. Ten minutes before the end David Villa almost stole it for Valencia yet he too found the woodwork with just David De Gea to beat. The 19-year-old goalkeeper was then called into action twice in succession, first palming away Nikola Žigić's header before tipping over from David Navarro but despite Valencia's best efforts it was Atlético who advanced to the last four.
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