News Archive

Champions League, quarter finals, second leg

Atlético Madrid 2 - Barcelona 0

Barcelona are out of the Champions League! Luis Enrique’s side were beaten 2-0 by fellow Spaniards Atlético Madrid on Wednesday, and their quest to become the first club to defend the title is already over! Needing at least a goal to overturn the 2-1 scoreline from the first leg, the locals came out strongly, Ter Stegen having to save from Carrasco and Griezmann, and Gabi firing a shot over the bar. Mascherano had a shot blocked and Messi struck a free kick over the top in reply, but with ten minutes to go to the break Griezmann got above his marker to head a a Saúl Ñíguez centre past the keeper. After the interval Saúl looped a header on to the bar and Griezmann tested Ter Stegen again, but otherwise the visitors did all the attacking, Oblak in particular making first class saves from Iniesta and Luis Suárez. However with three minutes to go Griezmann got his second of the night from the penalty spot after Iniesta cut out a Filipe Luis pass with his arm, meaning Barça had to score to take the tie into extra time. They could have done so had Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli not turned down a last minute penalty claim after Gabi handled in the area, the referee adjudging the foul to have taken place just outside of the box, and when Messi’s free kick went wide of the mark it was all over. Atleti had knocked their opponents out of the competition for the second time in three years, and Simeone was a very proud man! (13.04.16)

Real Madrid 3 - Wolfsburg 0

Real Madrid did it! A Ronaldo hat-trick overturned Wolfsburg two goal lead to take the Spaniards through to their sixth Champions League semi-finals in a row! Within twenty minutes Zidane’s side had levelled the tie, Ronaldo turning in a Dani Carvajal centre, and then heading in a Kroos corner a minute later. However the visitors came back after that, knowing that an away goal would change the situation completely, Keylor Navas having to save from Draxler (who went off injured soon afterwards) and Luiz Gustavo. Benzema had a couple of efforts blocked before the interval though, and Sergio Ramos headed against the post from a corner after the restart, and with just under a quarter of an hour to go Ronaldo got the winner with a free kick which found a gap in the defensive wall. That sank the German side, and only good stops by Benaglio prevented Benzema, Jesé and Bale from increasing the lead later on. A magic night in the Bernabeu, and Ronaldo has laid the ghost that he doesn’t score in the big games! (12.04.16)