TV: Atletico Madrid ready for CL play-offs

Both Porto and Atletico Madrid had a chance to advance to the playoffs in the Champions League ahead of the final group stage. Porto were able to secure second place behind Liverpool in victory, while Atletico needed to win at the same time as Milan lost – alternatively that Atletico kept a better goal difference than Milan if both teams were to win.

At home at Estadio Dragao, Porto was the leading and better team in the first half, but it was the guests who created the match’s first dangerous goal chance. Thomas Lemar met a post from close range but Diogo Costa saved, on the return the Porto goalkeeper was quickly up and made another qualified save.

Early in the first half, Atletico Madrid were forced into a substitution when Luis Suarez left the pitch in tears with a suspected injury. The forward was replaced by Matheus Cunha.

After just over half an hour, Porto was close to opening the scoring. Mehdi Taremi got the ball in the penalty area and finished – but Jan Oblak stretched out and kept the goal zero intact. 0-0 was the score when the team went to the halftime break.

Mehdi Taremi was alert and at the beginning of the second half he was close to giving Porto the lead, but again Oblak was a good save. Instead of a home goal, Atletico Madrid took the lead. The visitors got a corner and at the far post got an unmarked Antonie Griezmann ball and could easily roll in 0-1.

Halfway into the second half, chaos scenes took place on the field. Yannick Carrasco was shown a red card for standing over the ball and blocking an opponent’s quick free kick after 80 minutes. The judge managed to calm the situation – but only temporarily.

For the game barely had time to start again before Wendell was sent off. The Porto player dealt an ugly blow to the face of an away player and had to leave the pitch. The home team’s Agustín Marchesín was sent off.

In the final stages of the match, Angel Correra and Rodrigo De Paul each scored for the guests. Sergio Oliveira comforted in overtime and set the final score at 1-3 – a victory that makes Atletico Madrid ready for the Champions League play-offs.

– This match and this group game sums up what “Atleti” is about. We are a group and it is necessary for everyone to contribute theirs in order for us to get where we want to go. We never stop believing in ourselves, says Antoine Griezmann to Uefa after the match.

For Porto, games in the Europa League await this spring.


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