Atlético Madrid 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen: match report
Atletico Madrid advanced to their fourth consecutive quarter-final thanks to a 0-0 draw with Bayer Leverkusen that stayed at 0-0 thanks to some heroics by Jan Oblak. The shotstopper missed the first leg having just recovered from a serious shoulder injury but he was the difference on Wednesday night.
The game was very disjointed from the off with Atletico not truly going out to attack but not inviting Bayer onto them either. The visiting side were in a similar predicament, knowing that a goal for Atletico would all but end the tie. They both enjoyed decent spells but neither really threatened. Angel Correa was looking lively for the home side while Kevin Volland Diego Godin were having a good crack at each other up the other end. The first half was not quite dull, but far from exciting and with the score sitting at 0-0, it would take a heroic effort by Bayer to score the three they needed in the second half.
Korkut left his side as they were in the first half in the hope of them finding some inspiration but they failed to do so. Atletico looked more like scoring, in fact, and with Thomas Partey playing a particularly effective role, they were creating chances on the counter. Griezmann had the best of these when he was put through by Carrasco only to see his delicate chip over Leno curl wide.
Bayer did start to force the issue and when Julian Brandt broke free after a mistake by Atletico, it looked like they had their breakthrough. Jan Oblak saved. Then Volland struck the rebound and Oblak saved again. They Volland struck it again only to be denied again by Oblak. The ball fell to Chicharito and he drove his shot wide. The writing was on the wall at the point and with Oblak in inspired form, Bayer would need 900 minutes to score three.
As it became apparent that they would not get one, let alone three, their heads dropped and the game fizzled out but Atletico won't care too much about that as they march on to the Champions League quarter-finals for a fourth consecutive year.
Atlético Madrid 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen: second half
FT as Atletico march on to the Champions League quarter-finals for the fourth consecutive year under Diego Simeone.
Min 90+2 | Really tame from Bayer as Oblak chests down a shot and nobody even goes to close him down. They know their game is up and will be leaving the Champions League, it looks like.
Min 90 | Bellarabi gets a cross in but Bailey's header is off target. It came at him very fast and he just threw his head down and hoped for the best. It hit his head but ther was no direction to it.
Bayer Leverkusen substitution - Charles Aranguiz replaces Kevin Volland.
Min 87 | Lucas breaks free but he is caught by Hilbert and is taken down. The Atletico Madrid fans are chanting "Cholo bring him on" referring to their hero, Fernando Torres.
Min 85 | Griezmann, Saul and Gaitan break as Griezmann finds Saul but his left-footed effort is save by Leno. Two great performances by the two men at either end of the field tonight.
Min 83 | Leon Bailey tries to go around Vrsaljko but falls over and puts it out for a throw to Atletico.
Bayer Leverkusen substitution - Admir Mehmedi replaces Javier Hernandez.
Min 79 | Bailey's first action is to force a save out of Oblak from distance. A fine strike it was too. Then Kampl takes a shot and Oblak gets down well to save it to the other side. Great performance by Atletico's number one.
Bayer Leverkusen substitution - Julian Brandt is replaced by Leon Bailey.
Min 76 | When Hernandez shaved his hair, he lost his touch aswell. Another ball into him skids off his foot. It's the only, the only, way to explain his performance so far.
Min 73 | Bellarabi rifles a shot at Oblak, who boxes it just in front of him as Chicharito closes in and tries to get a foot on it. Atletico put it out for a corner.
Atletico Madrid substitution - Savic comes on and replaces Yannick Carrasco.
Min 71 | Baumgartliner booked for a foul on Vrsaljko.
Min 70 | Carrasco gives the ball to Griezmann on the right but he drives over the bar.
Min 68 | Oh my god! Bayer were sure to score but Jan Oblak denies Brandt first before diving full length to reject a Volland shot, and the rebound after that before it falls to Chicharito, who drives wide across the goal. Heroic stuff from Oblak.
Min 66 | Jose Gimenez with the foul this time and receives the second yellow of the night as he takes down Julian Brandt. Looked like the German might have been through on goal there if the Uruguayan didn't catch him.
Min 65 | Jose Gimenez gets a head to the ball before Dragovic before he falls in a heap on the ground looking for a penalty. the central defender for Bayer is not happy.
Atletico Madrid substitution - that foul will be Correa's last action as he comes off and is replaced by Nico Gaitan.
Min 64 | Tin Jedvaj gets a yellow for hacking down Correa. The first yellow of the night.
Min 61 | Bellerabi trying to get a cross in but is stopped again by Godin. Throw to Bayer and it makes its way to Chicharito, who should have had a shot but couldn't get it off before Gimenez closed him down and cleared.
Min 59 | Lucas with another foul on Bellarabi and is lucky not to be booked. Free makes its way to Volland and his shot is block but it nearly makes its way to Chicharito before Atletico scramble it away.
Min 57 | What a chance for Atletico. Carrasco eases the ball into Griezmann's path and he tries to chip Leno who is off his line. So close and great thinking by the French striker!
Min 55 | Thomas Partey breaks with players streaming up the field to his left and right. He choses to play it to Correa, who drops his hips and turns onto his left before firing just wide.
Min 53 | Julian Brandt with an excellent run with the closest control you'll see. He passes to Volland on the right before he tries to get it across the box to Javier Hernandez. It has too much pace on it though.
Min 52 | The referee orders Jose Gimenez off as he appears to have a burst lip with plenty of blood streaming from his mouth. He wants to play on but the ref won't have it.
Min 51 | Thomas Partey with another really good run before Correa tries to set Carrasco loose. Leno is quick off his line and gathers before the Belgian can make it to the ball.
Min 50 | He doesn't let that one go though as Volland takes Saul's legs from under him. Saul wants a card but it's not forthcoming and the Spanish midfielder is lucky he doesn't get one himself for brandishing the imaginary card.
Min 49 | Atletico trying to build an attack and it appears Griezmann is pulled down but the ref plays on. He is letting plenty go for both side, it must be said.
Min 47 | Bellarabi gets a cross in but Oblak gets to to smother it.
Min 46 | From the kick-off the ball lands at Griezmann's feet via a Koke long ball. He strikes it early off his left but it goes well wide.
No changes for either side.
Atlético Madrid 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen: first half
HT as Sergei Karasev blows his whistle. A stalemate so far but Bayer will need something in order to turn this into a proper tie. Atletico delighted as it is!
Min 45 | The game has opened up here. Failed clearance by Bayer lands to Thomas, who tries to swing one around the corner but it is cut out.
Min 42 | That was quite funny. Vrsaljko bundles his way just outside the Bayer penalty area before hitting a pass that was far to hard at Correa. He continues his run and catches Dragovic with a bodycheck that you might see in National Hockey League. Free out.
Min 41 | A chipped pass into the path of Chicharito turns into a show but Godin blocks it for a corner.
Min 40 | It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, Antoine Griezmann is key to Atletico's attack. Everything he touches turns into something good. This time he centers the ball before Correa lays it off to Koke and his low show it turned around the post by Leno. The German keeper has been busier in the last few minutes.
Min 38 | Ball by godin to Griezmann, who gives it the most gentle of touches into Correa's path but the Argentine can't beat Leno with his shot. So close to an opener and putting this one beyond Bayer.
Min 37 | Kampl swings his right foot at the ball from outside the penalty area but it flies high and over Oblak's crossbar. A frustrated and ambitious effort.
Min 36 | Bayer a lot more less attacking under Korkut but this time three weeks ago, they were 2-0 down!
Min 34 | Bayer need a goal soon. They have failed to create anything meaningful and the longer it goes, the more comfortable Atletico will feel. to their credit, Atletico killing all and any space in front of Javier Hernandez and Volland.
Min 32 | Bellarabi down now after taking a push from Lucas. No contact made but it could be a muscular injury. he gets up and plays on. Turns out it was a free he was looking for.
Min 30 | Saul sells Vrsaljko a little bit short as he tries to unleash him down the right. Wendell gets a foot in. Throw to Atletico that results in a Vrsaljko cross straight into the waiting hands of Leno.
Min 28 | Baumgartlinger with the ball 40 yards out and he tries a neat chip inside, but he was not on the same page as his attackers and it rolls out over the endline.
Min 27 | Wendell corner makes its way all the way across the box and Brandt has a volley. It bounces along the ground, is half-cleared by Atletico and falls to Baumgartlinger. His volley is tame and just over Oblak's crossbar. Lots ov volleys tonight.
Min 26 | A slightly rash challenge by Volland on Godin, where he doesn't catch him but one that Godin does not like. He has a word with the attacker on his way back into his position and the referee has to intervene to calm things down.
Min 25 | Cross to Greizmann doesn't find its target but Jedvaj headers it up into the air. Koke gets underneath and volleys it high and up into the stand.
Min 24 | Wendell down after a collision with Vrsaljko in the air but he is back up and ready to return to the action, it looks like.
Min 23 | Correa tries to take on a Bayer defender but he is stopped in his tracks before it lands to Koke, who drives a cross low and along the ground that Leno gets down to save.
Min 21 | Brandt and Wendell link up before the former gets a cross to Chicharito as he skies it over the bar.
Min 19 | Few real chances for either side so far. As I said earlier, it is very disjointed. Atletico don't need a goal but they are still half-looking for one while Bayer are in need of one soon but don't want to throw the kitchen sink at Atletico just yet.
Min 16 | Diego Godin is down in a heap after catching a blow to the head, it appears. He is back up again and replays show that Volland had looked for him as he backed up and might have caught him with a light elbow but Godin points out, correctly, that he was not playing the ball.
Min 15 | Correa with a golden opportunity to make it 1-0 as Carrasco swings it in and Koke lays it off to him. He gets a shot away but it is half-blocked and stops dead in front of the goals before Bayer make their way up the field for their own attack. Brandt has it in a dangerous position but he can't get turned to swing a foot at it as Gimenez gets a toe to it. Atletico clear.
Min 14 | Vrsaljko with a really good run down the right but it is brought to a swift end by Kevin Kampl who slides in ferociously.
Min 13 | Bayer the ones with the lion's share of possession now. Atletico happy to let them throw it aorund the back as they can't find an opening in their opponents' back line.
Min 11 | Vrsaljko wins a corner as his first time cross is blocked. Gimenez wins the header from the cross but he can't get enough power on it to beat Leno.
Min 11 | Griezmann with a backheel into the air that makes its way to Koke, but he can't make his way towards goal or fashion a shot.
Min 9 | Atletico gets the ball down again ans start to control this one. It might be a lot of back and forth like this for the 90 given the nature of that 4-2 score. Thomas has started well in the middle.
Min 7 | Vrsaljko has a run at Wendell but the Brazilian sees him out over the side. Corner to Atletico that comes to nothing.
Min 6 | A little disjointed by Atletico to start. Koke gives it away first and then does the same again as Vrsaljko rushes to the sideline to stop it going out for a throw. The ball makes its way into the box where Chicharito can't control it. Bayer with most of the possession now.
Min 4 | Lucas dives in on Bellarabi and wins the first tackle but loses out in the end as the ball is passed to Kampl and then Volland. The striker gets a shot away that he drags wide.
Min 3 | A clearance makes its way to Griezmann but he tries to link up with Correa and they lose possession. Korkut up off his seat and issuing instructions.
Min 2 | Thomas Partey makes a nice run through a couple of Bayer tacklers before giving it to Koke, but his options were limited in front of him.
Min 1 | We are underway at the Vicente Calderon for what could be the last Champions League game at the stadium if Atletico lose.
Atlético Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen: team news
Atlético Madrid XI: Oblak, Vrsaljko, Godin, Gimenez, Lucas, Koke, Saul, Thomas, Carrasco, Griezmann, Correa
Bayer Leverkusen XI: Leno, Hilbert, Jedvaj, Dragovic, Wendell, Baumgartlinger, Kampl, Bellarabi, Volland, Brandt, Chicharito
Atlético Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen: latest news
20:41 | Just a few minutes away from kick-off now as the two teams take to the field and the Champions League anthem kicks in!
20:38 | If you are here because of this tweet, I have no idea how cricket even works. I have a decent grasp of how football works though and you're very welcome. The first game against these two sides was hectic and if I was to give you my prediction as to what I think will happen. I think it will be a draw, and Saul Niguez will score a goal!
20:36 | Atletico Madrid have never failed to get by the round of 16 under Diego Simeone.
20:33 | After going through a horrible time in front of goals around the winter break, Antoine Griezmann appears to be back to his best. He has scored five in his last five including an absolute cracker against Depor that earned Atletico a vital point.
20:24 | There is reportedly some fighting breaking out outside of the Vicente Calderon. We will keep you posted on any developments. Reportedly a number of Ultras clashing with police but police have since calmed things down and not quite clear if there were Bayer or Atletico fans.
20:17 | If you don't recognise the little striker running around up front for Bayer, do not fret. It is Javier Hernandez, who lost a bet on the SuperBowl and had to shave his head.
20:09 | 10 of the 11 players in tonight's team are 25 years of age or under. The only person bringing the age slightly up is Diego Godin, who is a neccesity at the back. The other thing to watch tonight, perhaps, is how Kevin Kampl plays. He has been linked with a move to Atletico recently as a replacement for Gabi.
20:04 | Simeone with a very nice chance to try out some of his younger players tonight. This could be his team next season with the likes of Gabi moving to the fringes of the squad.
19:50 | The only two changes Bayer Leverkusen have made from the side that drew with Werder Bremen at the weekend is Omer Toprak who suffered an injury ankle and Benjamin Henrichs. Their attack remains the same with the very dangerous Julian Brandt and Hakim Bellarabi on either wing looking to inflict damage on Atletico's young back line.
19:40 | The team news is in and Diego Simeone has opted for a very young looking team to try and close out this tie. He has opted for Saul and Thomas in midfield, which worked well against Granada at the weekend until half-time when he took the Ghanian off. The problem then was that Atletico needed to score! Tonight, they don't. He has also replaced Savic with Jose Gimenez after the former broke his nose at the end of the Granada game. He is on the bench and was reportedly set to wear a face mask but he did not wear one during training and so could feature if needs be. Angel Correa has a huge chance to impress despite not really stepping up his performances this year as he was expected to.
18:50 | Here is a look back at the frantic first leg in pictures..
18:40 | Hakan Calhanoglu has been suspended for the remainder of the season and has been an Atletico target in the past but is also on Barça's radar. He is reportedly open to leaving Bayer, accotrding to his agent.
18:19 | Check out this gallery of Atletico's top ten goalscorers in European action with cameos from Diego Costa and Maxi Rodriguez.
18:14 | Fernando Torres was back at the Calderon against Valencia after his injury against Depor. He has been cleared to play tonight but he is not expected to start.
18:08 | Diego Simeone said recently that Saul could become one of the world's best. He wil have a chance tonight in the absence of Gabi to be the leader in that central midfield position. He is known for playing well in big games so keep a very close eye on the young Spaniard.
17:20 | After Atlético's Champions League engagement the big Liga fixtures come thick and fast next month with the Rojiblancos hosting Real Sociedad on April 4 and then travelling to the Bernabéu four days later.
16:20 | Whether or not Atlético reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, we'll be bringing you live minute-by-minute coverage of the draw on Friday.
15:20 | Antoine Griezmann will be looking to add to his Champions League tally in the Calderón. The France striker is Atlético's all-time scorer in European competition. Have a glance at our gallery to see who else makes up the top 10.
14:20 | Atleti coach Diego Simeone said ahead of the game that Saúl has the potential to become one of the best midfielders in the world. He certainly doesn't mind German opposition as this goal against Bayer last season showed.
13:18 | Fernando Torres will be getting a huge cheer from the fans tonight if he gets some pitch time (or even warmy-up time) as he looks to return after the worrying head knock.
12:55 | Today's editorial from Alfredo Relaño looked at the expectation of most for Atlético to make it three Spanish teams into the final eight...while also looking back on Sevilla's exit.
12:26 | Atleti manager Diego Simeone is "expecting to play a great game".
11:41 | Happy-go-lucky German fans will be travelling to the Spanish capital today with around 1,200 expected to be in the packed ground.
11:12 | The other two teams looking to get their named ball into Friday's draw pot are Monaco and Manchester City who meet at the Stade Louis II. We're hoping for another deluge of goals.
10:33 | Chicharito returns to Madrid where he used to turn out for Los Blancos. Chances of that getting him a few whistles tonight?
10:09 | Tickets to the Calderón this season have been getting snapped up faster than normal with fans, and footballing sentimentals, wanting to say their goodbye to the famous stadium.
09:45 | Leverkusen have one man, or should we say boy, in their ranks who has to put his schooling ahead of trivial things like the Champions League.
09:22 | No matter where you are in the world, we've got your audio-visual needs covered.
08:56 | Atlético are hoping to make it three Spanish sides into the quarter finals but Sevilla dropped out last night at the hands of Leicester.
08:32 | If you haven't already, scroll down and read our match preview which will get you in the mood for the encounter.
08:23 | Good morning from a sunny Madrid and welcome to our coverage of the Champions League match between Atlético and Leverkusen. As the latter stages of the competition are already upon us, there are already thoughts towards big European evenings at the Estadio Vicente Calderón being just a lovely memory...but let's not get too melodramatic today as we have plenty to look forward to in the coming hours ahead of kick-off.
Atlético Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen: preview
Bayer Leverkusen visit the Calderón on Wednesday with the onerous task of overturning a 4-2 deficit from the first leg at the BayArena. The home side will focus on keeping the score at their end to zero, with Leverkusen needing three without reply to go into the hat for Friday’s draw. The Bundesliga side limbered up for the game with a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen, which marked Tayfun Korkut’s first match in charge after he replaced Roger Schmidt last week. Atlético pulled off a 1-0 win against Granada at Los Cármenes to tighten their grip on a top-four finish after Real Sociedad were beaten in the Basque derby by Athletic.
Striker Fernando Torres and club captain Gabi both rejoined training this week but will likely miss out on Diego Simeone’s squad, while Stefan Savic suffered a fractured nose in Los Cármenes. Simeone will also be without long-term injury absentee Augusto Fernández, Tiago and Kevin Gameiro as he seeks to keep intact a record of qualifying for the quarter-finals every season he has contested the Champions League since he took charge of the club.
Atlético have conceded just one goal at the Calderón in this season’s competition, against Rostov, and kept Bayern Munich at bay in a 1-0 win during the group stage. France striker Antoine Griezmann has been involved in nine of Atlético’s last 10 Champions League goals at the Calderón with seven strikes and two assists and Simeone will look to his talismanic forward to put the tie beyond any doubt with the speed of Yannick Carrasco and Ángel Correa likely to be deployed in support of the prolific number seven.
The visitors have not been beyond the last 16 stage of the Champions League since 2001-02, when they were beaten finalists in Glasgow as Real Madrid lifted the title. Leverkusen have lost nine of their last 10 Champions League knock-out matches, their sole victory coming against Atlético in 2014-15 at the same stage. However, Simeone’s side progressed on penalties.
Leverkusen boss Korkut has a raft of absences to contend with. Hakan Calhanoglu, the scorer of the goal in the BayArena that markeed the side’s last Champions League knock-out victory, is barred from playing for the rest of the season due to a contract dispute with Turkish side Trazbonspor, while Stefan Kessling, the club’s highest appearance maker and second top-scorer of all time, is out with a back problem. Club captain Lars Bender is also set to miss the game along with vice-captain Ömer Toprak, Germany international defender Jonathan Tah and the suspended Bejamin Henrichs.
Atlético – Bayer Leverkusen: selected live betting odds
Atlético are heavy favourites for the victory with odds of 1.65 to one to win. Leverkusen are priced at 5.8 to one with the draw paying out 4.2 euros for every one staked. A 1-0 win for Atlético is chalked up at 8/1 while a Bayer 3-0 win is priced at 91/1. Antoine Griezmann to score at any time pays out 1.9 on the euro while a hat-trick for the France striker is a 19/1 shot.