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Griezmann at double as Atlético end Barça reign

Atlético 2-0 Barcelona (agg: 3-2)
Antoine Griezmann's first-half header and late penalty earned Atleti's second semi in three years, meaning no historic successful title defence for Barça.

Highlights: See Griezmann's Atlético double against Barcelona
Highlights: See Griezmann's Atlético double against Barcelona
  • Atlético Madrid knock out holders Barcelona for second time in three years
  • Antoine Griezmann heads Atlético into first-half lead (36)
  • Frenchman clinches progress from penalty spot late on (88)
  • No team has won successive European Cups since 1990
  • Semi-final draw on Friday at 11.30CET, streamed live on UEFA.com

Antoine Griezmann ensured Atlético Madrid repeated their 2014 UEFA Champions League quarter-final success against Barcelona, the Frenchman scoring in each half to earn a deserved win and eliminate the holders.

Atlético had struck first in last week's opening leg and again began brightly here, Gabi flashing a shot over and Yannick Carrasco and Griezmann both testing Marc-André ter Stegen in the first ten minutes.

The home side continued to enjoy the better of things without troubling the goalkeeper – but that all changed in the 36th minute. Saúl Ñíguez was the architect, delivering a sumptuous right-wing cross with the outside of his left foot, and Griezmann found space to superbly steer a header past Ter Stegen.


Filipe Luís on Atlético's fighting spirit
Filipe Luís on Atlético's fighting spirit

Barcelona tried to respond, Jan Oblak dealing smartly with a looping Neymar attempt, yet it was Atlético who threatened a second goal before the break. Carrasco led a swift counterattack and opted to ignore Saúl, Ter Stegen only gathering his low effort at the second time of asking.

Diego Simeone's men continued to look the likelier scorers as the second half unfolded, Barcelona scrambling clear after Koke had slipped a low pullback past Ter Stegen. Atlético then came closer still to doubling their advantage as Saúl directed a header over the keeper; only the crossbar kept Barcelona in touch.

Atlético celebrate at full time
Atlético celebrate at full time©AFP/Getty Images

Luis Enrique's team promptly enjoyed their first spell of sustained pressure but Atlético's greater menace was perfectly illustrated when Griezmann galloped onto a long pass, forcing yet another Ter Stegen intervention.

The holders were finally roused, Luis Suárez thumping a shot straight at Oblak after turning past Diego Godín. Suárez drew another sharp stop from the Atleti custodian as the match moved into its final ten minutes, yet gaps were opening up in the Barcelona rearguard.

From one such counterattack, Filipe Luís skipped through several challenges and only Andrés Iniesta's hand prevented the cross reaching Griezmann. The reprieve was brief, Griezmann stroking the spot kick beyond Ter Stegen.


Still a goal for the visitors would have taken the tie into extra time, and the raucous Calderón fell silent as Lionel Messi stood over a free-kick on the edge of the Atlético area. The Argentinian curled the effort too high, and the home celebrations were in full swing shortly afterwards.

Analysis from Joseph Walker at the Vicente Calderón

Antoine Griezmann strokes in his penalty
Antoine Griezmann strokes in his penalty©Getty Images

Key player: Antoine Griezmann
The France forward has enjoyed an outstanding season and has often been the hero when Atlético have needed him. Tonight was no different, with his two goals clinching the Rojiblancos' place in the last four. The first was a bullet header that flew beyond Ter Stegen, while for the second he held his nerve to send the Calderón into dreamland.

Simeone breaks Enrique hold
Two tough midfielders in their playing days, Simeone and Enrique are all-action on the sidelines too. Before tonight they had met seven times, with the Spaniard yet to taste defeat. That all changed in their most important meeting so far, and it would be no exaggeration to say that Simeone felt it was worth the wait.

Messi could not find a way through
Messi could not find a way through©Getty Images

Tactical tweak pays dividends
Having lined up with an adventurous 4-3-3 system to mirror that of Barcelona last week, Atlético set up in a more familiar 4-4-2 tonight and Simeone's decision to draft in an extra midfielder in Augusto Fernández proved decisive. The 30-year-old's assured presence in the middle of the park not only offered an extra layer of protection but also allowed the energetic trio of Gabi, Koke and Saúl to suffocate Iniesta and Ivan Rakitić, stopping the supply line to Messi, Neymar and Suárez.

©Getty Images
©Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images