Times of Oman
Price in RO
24ct / gm
22ct / gm
Forex Rates vs R01
Back to Homepage
Five reasons Atletico Madrid beat Barcelona
April 12, 2014 , 2 : 20 pm GST
SAVE THIS ARTICLE
Atletico Madrid's players celebrate after winning the UEFA Champions League quarter final football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs FC Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 9, 2014. Photo - AFP
Atletico Madrid sealed an historic triumph over Barcelona on Wednesday as they progressed to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 40 years with a 2-1 aggregate victory over the four-time European champions.
Here, AFP sports looks at how Diego Simeone's men overcame the Catalans.
1. Solid defence
Atletico's organisation and defensive resolve has been the bedrock of the club's revival since Simeone took charge two-and-a-half years ago.
They have conceded just five times in 10 Champions League games on their return to the competition for the first time in four years and, even more impressively, just twice in five encounters with Barcelona this season.
2. Missing Messi
The key to Atletico's defensive job had been crowding out four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.
Prior to May last year Messi had scored 20 times in 15 games against Atletico. He has been held scoreless in the six matches between the two since.
Indeed, Atletico's marshalling of the Argentine has been so good that Barca boss Gerardo Martino moved his compatriot out of his favoured role as a false nine at the Vicente Calderon in an unsuccessful attempt to offer his star man more space out on the right.
3. Koke outshines Spanish international teammates
The only goal of the second leg came after just five minutes as midfielder Koke timed his run into the box perfectly to volley home Adrian Lopez's knock-down.
The 22-year-old seems certain to be included in Vicente del Bosque's World Cup squad and made his case for a starting place as he excelled against many of his more illustrious international teammates in the Barcelona midfield over both legs.
4. The roar of the Calderon
Atletico fans haven't had it this good for years and they played their part with spectacular backing throughout the whole 90 minutes to drag their side towards the finish line.
"The atmosphere was amazing. It didn't affect Barca because they are used to those atmospheres, but it did influence our players. It gave us great positive energy," said Simeone.
5. Atletico's depth of squad makes the difference
What made Atletico's triumph even more remarkable was that it was done without their talisman Diego Costa for the vast majority of the tie.
The Spanish international, who has scored 33 goals this season, limped off after just half an hour of the first leg with a hamstring injury.
However, it was Costa's replacement in both legs that made the difference as Diego Ribas belted home a stunning 35-yard effort to open the scoring at the Camp Nou after coming on as a substitute.
Simeone then pulled another managerial masterstroke by showing huge confidence in Adrian, despite the former Deportivo la Coruna striker scoring just two goals in 31 appearances this season, and he repaid his manager's faith by setting up Koke for the winner.
Rate this Article
Rates : 0, Average : 0
Post a Comment
Did you like this section? Leave a comment!
Your Name :
Your Email Address :
Your Comment :
Enter Image Text:
No Comments Posted
Latest in this section
Cricket: Raina ton sets up huge India win over England
Tennis: China forget Li as Peng downs Radwanska
Cricket: De Villiers, Du Plessis double act seals S. Africa win
Boxing: Pacquiao to train future China world champions
Football: Mourinho issues are in the past, says Eto’o
TOP RATED ARTICLES
Oman healthcare sector facing crunch of medics
Faisal Mohammed Naim
Are you carrying ‘this’ emotional baggage?
Are rats eating our food before we are? Oman's PACP issues alert on food hygeine
Oman sends new aid convoy to Gaza
Shrimp fishing season begins in Oman's coasts from September 1
Times News Service
More in News
High-end 'micro-flats' latest trend for Hong Kong home buyers
More than just a moustache - Adolf Hitler vs Charlie Chaplin
Urban gardens greening Berlin rooftops, airfield
Tips for writing a good article
How to choose your writing form and communicate your creative thoughts
Natasja Engholm - Special to Times of Oman
More in Features
New conflicts have put the whole of MENA into turmoil
Modi’s mission to save the world must begin at home
Will the East Asian dream augur well for India now?
Alas! Iraq has already disintegrated
Winds of anarchy and chaos in Middle East
More in Columns
Copyright © 2012 Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC. All rights reserved. Times of Oman is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
For reprint rights contact:
TOO Online Editorial