Ten facts ahead of PSV-Atlético Madrid
Los Rojiblancos beat PSV on Dutch soil in 2008, but have never got past an Eredivisie side over two legs. Phillip Cocu's team have won their last eight league games.
PSV and Atlético Madrid square off in the Champions League last 16 tomorrow night. Eindhoven is the setting for this first leg clash between the Eredivisie frontrunners and La Liga’s second-placed side, who were held to a scoreless draw by Villarreal on Sunday. Here are ten curious facts ahead of Wednesday night’s match:
1. PSV and Atlético met during the 2008-09 Champions League campaign: the two rojiblanco clubs were pitted against each other in the group stage. Atlético took six points off the Dutch side, beating them 0-3 away (an Agüero brace and a Maniche goal) and 2-1 at the Calderón (Simao, Maxi Rodríguez, Koevermans).
2. Atlético have not hung onto any of the players from those encounters. In Holland Los Colchoneros lined up with Leo Franco; Perea, Heitinga, Ujfalusi, Antonio López; Luis García, Assunçao, Maniche (Banega, 85'), Simao, Agüero (Raúl García, 63') and Forlán (Sinama Pongolle, 31'). And for the return leg Javier Aguirre opted for Coupet; Heitinga (Pablo Ibáñez, 51'), Pernía, Seitaridis, Ujfalusi; Maniche, Raúl García (Assunçao, 80'), Simao, Maxi Rodríguez, Forlán and Agüero (Sinama Pongolle, 66').
3. Atlético have never defeated a Dutch side over two legs on the European stage: Los Rojiblancos have been put to the sword on four occasions by teams from the Netherlands over two legs. The Spanish side lost twice to Ajax in the European Cup (1971 semi-finals and 1997 quarter-finals) and twice to Groningen in the UEFA Cup (in the first round of the 1983 and 1988 editions of the tournament).
4. PSV have never won in Spain: the Rood-wittens’ results from their 24 home and away encounters against Spanish opposition makes for difficult reading. Four wins, ten draws and ten defeats. Away from home they have only managed four draws and eight defeats.
5. Atlético’s results since the end of the group stage: since seeing off Benfica in Lisbon on 8 December, Diego Simeone’s team have racked up nine wins, four draws and three defeats.
6. PSV are on a roll domestically: Phillip Cocu’s charges have won their last eight games in the Erdevisie (Heracles, NEC, Utrecht, De Graafschap, Excelsior, Twente, Feyenoord and Zwolle). The Eindhoven outfit’s last league defeat was in September at the hands of Heracles (1-2).
7. This is the first time PSV have reached the Champions League knockout stage since the 2006-07 season, when they then got past Arsenal (1-0 at home; 1-1 at the Emirates). They were dumped out of the competition by another Premier League side, Liverpool, in the quarter-finals (0-3 at home; 1-0 in Anfield).
8. The goal scorers: Luuk de Jong and Griezmann. PSV’s 25-year-old Dutch marksman has hit the onion bag 23 times in all competitions this season, however, he is suspended for tomorrow’s first leg showdown. Meanwhile, the former Real Sociedad man has scored 19 goals.
9. Two members of PSV’s squad played in Spain. Héctor Moreno was with Espanyol between 2011 and 2015, while Andrés Guardado spent five years with Deportivo de La Coruña (2007-12). The Mexican found the back of the net against Atlético back in 2009.
10. PSV are managed by a familiar face: Phillip Cocu made 292 appearances for Barcelona between 1998 and 2005, during which time he faced Atlético on six separate occasions (two wins, dos draws and two defeats).