PSV 0-0 ATLÉTICO MADRID
Stalemate as Atlético fail to illuminate Philips Stadion
No goals in Eindhoven this evening despite great first half chances for Vietto, Koke and a Griezmann for Atleti. PSV ended the game with 10 men following Periero's dismissal.
The last time both PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid came head to head at the Philips Stadion, a brace from Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero was enough to give the Spanish side a comfortable win as part of the 2008/09 Champions League group stage.
Fast forward to 2016 and how dearly Diego Simeone would love to have the free scoring Argentinean striker in his current Atleti side. Finding the target for the “Colchoneros” is proving to be a major problem for the team this season with just 35 LaLiga goals to date for a side in third place in LaLiga (15th placed Rayo Vallecano have scored 34). Atleti do have the most miserly defence in the league but the problem current problem for Simeone is that his main goal scoring outlet, Antoine Griezmann is currently going through a barren spell, having failed to find the net for Atleti since the away win in Las Palmas on January 17.
Goal scoring chances were at a premium at the Philips Stadion tonight with the best chances for Atleti all falling in the first 30 minutes. Vietto found himself through on goal, chipped Zoet in the PSV goal but watched on agonizingly as Bruma cleared his goal bound shot after just four minutes. On the quarter hour mark, an exquisite pass from Savic sliced through the PSV midfield and set Koke through but the midfielder failed to secure precision with his attempted lob as the ball was tamely gathered by the PSV keeper.
Arguably, the best chance of the night for Simeone’s side fell to Griezmann with the French striker timing his run to perfection as the PSV backline pushed high looking to catch the Atleti strike-force in an offside position. In a one-on-one with Zoet, the French striker tried to chip the 25 year old stopper who managed to palm away the weak shot. Confidence and consistency seem to have left the forward at a critical time of the season.
Buoyed on by a raucous crowd at a packed stadium PSV created little with the best chance falling to Pereiro after he toe-poked a shot goal bound from close range following the Atleti defence failing to clear a PSV corner.
The second period followed a similar pattern with the game being played in the central area with limited scoring chances for either side. Simeone shuffled his pack and introduced Fernando Torres into the fray in the 60th minute. El Niño replacing Luciano Vietto who has yet to fulfil the expectation with the 22 year old failing to reproduce his Villarreal form in a red and white shirt.
Diego Godin had the ball in the net after the hour mark but the goal was correctly ruled out by the Italian official with the Uruguayan defender climbing all over a PSV defender in order to contact the ball.
The home side was reduced to ten men in the 68th minute when Periero was awarded his second yellow card of the evening and despite playing against ten men Simeone’s side could find no way through the wall of red and white shirts.
Both coach’s will look positively on the outcome, Cocu content with not having conceded the dreaded away goal and Simeone confident that his side will prove too much for the Dutch side at the confines of the Vicente Calderon when both sides meet again on March 15.
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