SPANISH FOOTBALL | SPORTS: FC BARCELONA 1 ATLETICO DE MADRID 1 | UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Q/F 1º LEG RESULT

FC BARCELONA 1 ATLETICO DE MADRID 1 | UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Q/F 1º LEG RESULT

The UEFA Champions League Quater-Final phase kicked off tonight with two Spanish Football Clubs matched, none other than FC Barcelona & Atletico de Madrid. The 1º leg match finished in a 1 - 1 draw result leaving the tie wide open for the return 2º leg game next Wednesday in Madrid. 

ATLETICO DE MADRID 2014

The match was as all the other encounters between these two teams this season very even in all the aspects with high levels of intensity & physical efforts that leads eventually to the habitual stalemates seen between both.

The first half was a overall draw including with the injuries. Barça lost defender Gerard Pique (substitituted with Bartra) in the 10th min when he landed awkwardly on his back disputing a header with Atletico de Madrid forward Diego Costa. Then later around the 30th min mark Atletico de Madrid lost Diego Costa (substituted with Diego Ribas) to an apparent leg muscle injury.

Atletico de Madrid had two clear chances missed by David Villa, along with Barça which had minor opportunities.


FC BARCELONA 2014

The action lifted in the second half with Atletico de Madrid putting the pressure on Barça & looking for the forced mistakes to steal the ball. In one of those occasions Diego Ribas found a ball & surprised everyone with a 25 mt crack at goal that found the back of the Barça net. A brilliant 56th min goal that put Atletico in front with an important away goal.

Minutes later Atletico de Madrid Coach Simeone took off David Villa (will talk about this latter) to secure the result which handed over the initiative to FC Barcelona. This allowed Andres Iniesta to take over further & in one of his magical plays he found Neymar with a pass that turned into the equalizer in the 71st min.

From here FC Barcelona poured all their efforts into finding the winner but Atletico de Madrid goalkeeper Courtois made three match savers that once again consolidates his "current Best Goalkeeper in World Football" tag. His efforts along with his team-mates defending on the limits managed to hold out the late Barça charge & managed to secure a valuable draw away from home.


This may sound OK from an Atletico de Madrid perspective but its is not so good if you look closer. Atletico de Madrid received 6 yellow cards tonight, that is 6 players conditioned for the return match, plus lost their in-form top goalscorer Diego Costa who may not play the return game.

But the big mistake tonight was the decision by Atletico de Madrid Coach Simeone to leave his team without a forward for the last 25-30 minutes after getting ahead. Taking off David Villa for a midfielder gave the signal to Barcelona that Atletico would retreat to defend 100% handing over the initiative of the match. I thought that Football is about scoring goals, but it was like Atletico decided to throw the ball over to Barça & told them attack all you want. A very risky, & I believe unnecessary precedent, that tonight came off only because Atletico goalkeeper Courtois was outstanding. A decision that may be seen as genius only because it ended in a 1-1 draw, but could be absolutely valid to call stupidity if Courtois had not stopped either of the three clear goal chances for Barça.

The men to mention tonight are Andres Iniesta who was simply magical & Atletico de Madrid goalkeeper Courtois who saved his team & his Coach from his ridiculous & risky tactical end of match decisions.


Tomorrow it´s the turn of the other Spanish Football Club in Champions League, Real Madrid which hosts German Club Borussia Dortmund.

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