Académica study for Atlético exam
Monday, October 29, 2012
A. Académica de Coimbra will look to end the holders' 16-match winning streak as Club Atlético de Madrid head over the border to Portugal in UEFA Europa League Group B.
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A. Académica de Coimbra have a second chance to break Club Atlético de Madrid's long UEFA club competition winning run after losing 2-1 in Spain in matchday three's Group B game.
• Diego Simeone's side forged ahead courtesy of Diego Costa's volley shortly after half-time. Emre Belözoğlu's first goal for the club – a wonderfully struck free-kick – made it 2-0 and that proved crucial as Salim Cissé's header halved the deficit late on.
• The sides met for the first time in UEFA club competition on matchday three, in what was Académica's maiden encounter with Spanish opponents.
• Atlético's record in 13 games against Portuguese opposition now reads W5 D4 L4 (W4 D2 L1 at home – W1 D2 L3 in Portugal). Most recently prior to matchday three, they beat Vitória SC 2-0 at home and 4-0 away in the play-offs to reach the group stage of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League – a competition which they went on to win.
• Atlético are unbeaten in five games against Portuguese sides since suffering their only previous home loss to a team from over the border, 3-0 against FC Porto in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Atlético eliminated Sporting Clube de Portugal on away goals in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 16, and thus overcame Portuguese opponents en route to both of their successes in this competition.
• Atlético's record-breaking winning run in UEFA club competition now extends to a remarkable 16 games – 15 in the UEFA Europa League plus the 2012 UEFA Super Cup. They have not lost since going down 2-0 at Udinese Calcio on matchday three in last season’s UEFA Europa League.
• As well as winning their past seven European away games, Atlético have won their last 11 home fixtures in Europe since succumbing 3-2 to Aris Thessaloniki FC in the 2010/11 group stage.
• Académica have not won a European game in seven attempts (D2 L5) since a 2-0 win against 1. FC Magdeburg in the second round of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup on 26 November 1969. They embarked on a five-match losing streak on the road in Europe after winning 1-0 at KuPS Kuopio in the first round of the same competition on 1 October 1969.
• That victory against Magdeburg is the only occasion in their 11 European appearances when Coimbra scored more than once.
• Holders Atlético, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Olympique Lyonnais are the only sides going into matchday four with the full complement of nine points.
• Atlético boast Portuguese talent in the form of vice-captain Tiago Mendes (SC Braga and SL Benfica) and defender Sílvio (Braga), while Cristian Rodríguez (Benfica and FC Porto), Diego Costa (Braga) and Falcao (Porto) also played in Portugal.
• Académica midfielder Bruno China and Atlético defensive midfielder Mario Suárez played together at RCD Mallorca in 2009/10. Académica’s Serge N'Gal (Villarreal CF), John Ugo (UD Almería) and Edinho (Málaga CF) have also played in Spain.
• Hired in December 2011, Atlético coach Diego Simeone picked up the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup trophies in his first eight months in charge, adding to the considerable haul he won as a defensive midfielder. A Spanish double winner in 1995/96 in the first of two spells with Atlético, the man capped 106 times by Argentina captured the 1998 UEFA Cup at FC Internazionale Milano and then an Italian double in 1999/2000 with S.S. Lazio.
• Born in Angola, ex-defender Pedro Emanuel helped Boavista FC win their only league championship in 2000/01, before he claimed five more titles as a player with Porto, as well as the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 UEFA Champions League. Assistant to André Villas-Boas at Porto in 2010/11, he took sole command of Académica the following season, and guided the side to Portuguese Cup glory – their first trophy since 1939.