Zoet allure: key points from Atlético v PSV
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
After 210 minutes without a goal, Atlético and PSV could not miss from the spot; UEFA.com's Joseph Walker singles out José María Giménez and Jeroen Zoet for praise.
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After Atlético and PSV played out the first goalless two-legged tie in UEFA Champions League knockout phase history, the teams found the target with the first 14 penalties in the decisive shoot-out before Luciano Narsingh hit the crossbar for the Dutch side. Juanfran stepped up to make it eight from eight for Atlético and seal their place in the quarter-finals for the third season on the spin.
PSV's Jeroen Zoet unlucky
Given his performances in both legs, the PSV custodian did not deserve to finish on the losing side. Atlético forward Antoine Griezmann, in particular, will be glad to see the back of Jeroen Zoet having been denied on a number of occasions over the two ties. The Dutch international stood tall to keep out a one-on-one with the Frenchman in the first-half on Tuesday and tipped a Fernando Torres effort onto the post in extra-time. But for Zoet, it would never have gone as far as penalties.
Cocu's tactical blueprint
As a midfielder for Barcelona and PSV, Phillip Cocu was combative, and his modern PSV side come from the same mould. Diego Simeone's Atlético are usually similarly aggressive, but the Argentinian was thrown somewhat by PSV's 5-3-2 formation, which stifled the Spanish side. The harrying of ball-playing midfielders Koke and Saúl Ñíguez had a profound impact on the game, and the extra man at the back meant there was no space in behind for whippet-fast forwards Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco. Whoever the Rojiblancos draw in the last eight do worse than study Cocu's gameplan.
Giménez coming of age
Despite only turning 21 in January, defender José María Giménez has already starred at a FIFA World Cup and cemented himself a regular slot in the meanest defence in Europe's top leagues, Atlético having shipped just 12 goals in 29 Liga games and three in eight UEFA Champions League matches. Against PSV, he helped contain goal machine Luuk de Jong and took his performance another level when partner Diego Godín left the field. To cap a dominant display, he coolly slotted home a sudden-death penalty.
The wait goes on for Torres
While Fernando Torres has won two UEFA European Championships, a World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, a first Atlético goal in Europe's top club competition continues to elude him. The 31-year-old has made over 300 appearances and scored 102 times for his boyhood club, and has 18 UEFA Champions League goals from his time at Liverpool and Chelsea, but was denied a first for Atlético when Zoet tipped his late effort onto the post. Better luck next round.