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Atlético ease through to last 16

Club Atlético de Madrid 2-1 PSV Eindhoven
Goals from Simão and Maxi Rodríguez took the Spanish side through to the knockout rounds, leaving PSV to fight with Olympique de Marseille for third.

Maxi Rodríguez (No11) celebrates his opening goal with Sergio Agüero, Maniche and Raúl García
Maxi Rodríguez (No11) celebrates his opening goal with Sergio Agüero, Maniche and Raúl García ©Getty Images

First-half goals from Simão and Maxi Rodríguez were enough to earn Club Atlético de Madrid a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, leaving PSV Eindhoven to fight for third in Group D and a UEFA Cup place.

Simão influential
The result never really looked in doubt as Los Rojiblancos raced into a 2-0 lead, Simão breaking the deadlock on 14 minutes and then supplying the corner that led to Maxi's second just before the half-hour. PSV re-emerged a different team after half-time, and an early Danny Koevermans strike brought them back into a game they had to win to keep their hopes of qualification alive, but they never really threatened an equaliser.

Seitaridis purpose
The lack of supporters lent to an eerie atmosphere at the Vicente Calderón, but Atlético seldom looked less than comfortable. They were immediately into their stride, Giourkas Seitaridis needing little excuse to drive forward, and it was his run that created the opening goal. The right-back's cross had Carlos Salcido at sixes and sevens and, struggling to clear, the PSV defender sent a back-heel straight to Simão who had the easy task of slotting past Andreas Isaksson. Javier Aguirre's team were soon on the hunt for a second, and could have had one if Maniche had taken more time with a shot from distance that, in haste, he sent over the crossbar.

PSV Riposte
The home side did not have to wait long to extend their advantage, however. Isaksson produced a fine save to deny Raúl García after the midfielder had met Simão's cross with a header, but the keeper could do nothing from the subsequent corner as Simão's centre hit Francisco Rodríguez and bounced fortuitously for Maxi who rifled in. PSV rallied well, and almost pulled one back straight from the restart only for Dutchman John Heitinga to clear Edison Méndez's low shot off the line. The Ecuadorian forward also had a free-kick saved by Grégory Coupet, but Atlético remained a real threat, and Sergio Agüero should have done better when he blasted over after good work from Simão.

Koevermans strike
Two minutes after half-time that looked an expensive miss as Koevermans made it 2-1 with his fourth UEFA Champions League goal of the season. Méndez's right-wing corner was flicked on at the near post by Danko Lazović and with Atlético dithering Koevermans pounced, hooking past Coupet from close range. It gave the hosts a jolt and they quickly wrested back the initiative, Maniche trying his luck from long range, while substitute Florent Sinama Pongolle was foiled by Isaksson. Balázs Dzsudzsák drew a good save from Coupet at the other end, but it was not enough. PSV will hope Atlético can do them a favour at Olympique de Marseille on Matchday 6, the Dutch side needing to better OM's result when they host Liverpool FC in Eindhoven to finish third and earn a UEFA Cup spot.