Atlético Madrid 1 - 0 Leicester City: match report
As Antoine Griezmann calmy guided the ball in to the net from the penalty spot on 28 minutes, one sensed that it would be the first of a flurry of goals for an Atléti side that, up to that point, had dominated. Los Rojiblancos did indeed continue to dominate, denying Leicester a shot on target all match, but they could not put the tie beyond the stoic visitors. Diego Simeone will travel to England next week with a sense that the job should have been completed. The Foxes are down, but by no means out.
Atlético started the match at a frenetic pace, as the Calderón pulsated in the Madrid evening sun. With five minutes gone, Koke shimmied on to his right foot, and unleashed a ferocious shot which cannoned off the post, with Schmeichel flailing. A Jamie Vardy-led charge punctuated the waves of Atlético attack, but it was an anomalous foray in to opposition territory, rather than a sign of things to come.
Yet, Leicester settled. They found a groove and, tentatively, felt their way back in to the match. They narrowed the gap between midfield and defence, denying Griezmann and Carrasco the space they had exploited previously. But just when the visitors looked comfortable, Atléti sensed vulnerability.
After 27 minutes, Griezmann seized a loose ball deep inside his own half, and surged forward, eyes fixed on the Leicester box. He nearly got there, too. Marc Albrighton, at the end of a lung-bursting defensive run, clipped the Frenchman's heels just outside the penalty area. Referee Jonas Eriksson pointed to the spot. It was the incorrect decision, but that made no difference to Griezmann, who converted the controversial penalty, with Kasper Schmeichel helplessly diving the wrong way.
It was a cruel blow for Leicester, but they did not crumble. At half time, Shakespeare made an astute substitution. Andy King replaced Shinji Okazaki, adding more weight to the visitors' midfield.
The Foxes, urged on by 2500 vociferous fans, many wearing blue trilby hats courtesy of opportunistic Madrid vendors, defended in numbers, and with discipline. Benalouane and Huth both received bookings early in the second half, but that was the only blot on their copy-books. The Tunisian, who replaced the absent captain Wes Morgan, was superb; alongside him, Huth relentlessly organised his companions.
On the hour mark, Riyad Mahrez, hitherto quiet for Leicester, twitched beyond Gabi in the Atlético box, and tumbled over the Spaniard's outstretched leg. Blue-shirted players surrounded the referee, demanding a reciprocal decision following Atlético's dubious penalty in the first half. The man with the whistle was unmoved and, this time, he was correct. It was a case of the attacker falling in to the defender's leg, rather than tripping over it.
Atléti continued to probe. Correa, on as a substitute in the second half, embarked on a dancing run, but nobody could meet his cross. Griezmann was a constant, hovering menace.
As the referee blew the final whistle, both sets of fans applauded their teams. The tie will go finely-poised to the East Midlands. Leicester were battered and bruised at the Calderón, but crucially, they are still in it.
Atlético Madrid 1 - 0 Leicester: second half as it happened
FT whistle blows.
Min 90 | Two minutes of added time.
Min 90 | Atléti are building patiently, probing the disciplined Leicester defence, willing them to lose their positional sense for a second. The blues are holding firm, though. The Leicester centre halves have been very, very good.
Min 88 | Oooh, Correa nips through a gap between Simpson and Benalouane. Sensational balance and close-control from the Argentine, who arrived in Madrid from San Lorenzo a couple of years back. He centres the ball, but nobody in red and white can get on the end of it.
Min 86 | A substandard five seconds from Koke. His free kick clatters in to the (one man) wall, and he then shoves Mahrez over as the pair grapple for the ball. Leicester take the opportunity to get out of their own third of the pitch.
Min 84 | Almost calamitous from Fuchs. He tries to hook away a chipped through-ball, but only succeeds in catapulting the ball in to his own face. It falls kindly for Griezmann, whose cross goes out for a corner. Leicester clear, but Atlético continue in possession. The home side have had 66% of the ball so far.
Min 82 | An unidentified member of the Leicester back-room staff has been sent to the stands. His crime is unclear.
Min 79 | Slimani is already making a subtle difference. Previously, Godín and Savic were eating up Leicester's speculative hoofs. Slimani is able to hold them up more effectively, and provide an outlet for Leicester as they continue to withstand pressure.
Min 77 | And with that, Vardy leaves the pitch. Slimani takes his place. The Algerian will provide more of a 'presence' up front.
Min 76 | Vardy is looking increasingly isolated as this match progresses. Leicester are dropping deeper and deeper. They'll be in the Manzanares river that flows behind the Calderón, if they're not careful.
Min 75 | Atlético sub: Thomas replaces Torres. This should strengthen the middle of the park for Atléti, not that it particularly needed strengthening, and will allow Correa to push forward alongside Griezmann.
Min 74 | Gabi lays the ball out to Griezmann on the right, who is now moving freely, and he flashes a low ball across the box. It's just beyond a scampering Correa, and it goes all the way out for a throw in on the other side.
Min 72 | Griezmann is hobbling slightly, following a heavy challenge from Danny Drinkwater. He looks like he'll be able to run it off, though.
Min 70 | Robert Huth heads a corner clear, under pressure from Diego Godín, who fouls the German in the process.
Min 69 | Leicester aren't committing many numbers forward when they get the chance to break. They're set up to ride this out, rather than to push for an equaliser.
Min 66 | The game hasn't really kicked in to life in the second half. Atlético are dominant in terms of possession, but Leicester are well organised in defence. After the frenetic start, the visitors would be glad to take the tie back to the East Midlands with Atléti still within reach.
Min 65 | Atléti sub: Correa, the stocky, Maradona-shaped Argentine playmaker enters in the place of Carrasco, who looks thoroughly dischuffed.
Min 61 | Up at the other end, Torres is through on goal and ready to pull the trigger... but his standing leg slips from beneath him and he skews the shot well, well wide. A chorus of 'Waaaaayyyyy' rains down from the away fans. Good comedy value, that.
Min 60 | Big penalty claim for Leicester, turned down. Mahrez jinked past Gabi, and then fell over the Spaniard's outstretched leg. The referee gives nothing, and I think that's the right decision, just about. It was more a case of Mahrez falling in to Gabi's leg, rather than Gabi bringing him down. It's always such a fine line in these situations.
Min 58 | Huth is booked, and he'll now miss the return leg. The German has no complaints. He took down Griezmann, who waggled his hand in the direction of the ref, indicating that he wanted a booking given. I'm always irrationally-irritated by that. With Huth out, Leicester will be desperate to nurse Wes Morgan back to full health for the match next week at The King Power.
Min 55 | A long throw from Fuchs causes confusion amongst the Atléti defenders. The ball falls at the feet of big Robert Huth. His shot is blocked and falls to Mahrez, who fires over. These snapshot, half-chances are all that Atléti are allowing Leicester. Unlike Sevilla, Simeone's chaps are not leaving any space to exploit. The visitors look blunt in open play.
Min 54 | Filipe Luis tentatively comes forward, before smacking a cross in to Danny Simpson's body. It goes out for a corner. Once again, Atlético send the corner to the back post, and The Foxes clear.
Min 51 | Good tackle from Benalouane on Torres, deep inside the box. He needed to get that right, and timed it superbly. In the build up, Mahrez switched off and allowed Saúl to run in to space in the centre of the park. Atléti have a corner, which Leicester clear.
Min 49 | Benalouane is booked. Griezmann let the ball run through his legs to Torres, before making a darting run forward, Torres played it back to him and was cleaned out by a late tackle from the towering Tunisian. The free kick comes to nothing.
Min 47 | With Andy King replacing Okazaki, it looks like Shakespeare is trying to get Mahrez closer to Vardy. As Leicester foray forward, King drifted to the right and Mahrez came inside.
Min 46 | Atléti get the second half going.
Leicester sub: Andy King replaces Okazaki.
Atlético Madrid 1 - 0 Leicester: first half as it happened
HT - The referee calls time on the first half dominated by the home side. Atlético flew out of the blocks, and Leicester appeared to be shellshocked in the early stages of the match. Koke hit the post with a lethal effort. The visitors gradually felt their way back in to the game. Yet, in the 28th minute, Antoine Griezmann seized a loose ball in his own half and galloped forward. Mark Albrighton clipped the Frenchman's heels as he approached the Leicester box, and the referee pointed to the spot. The foul took place outside the box. Griezmann, of course, was not worried by that, and he sent Schmeichel the wrong way to place Atléti in the driving seat.
Min 44 | Griezmann is very close to threading a ball through to Carrasco in the right channel, but Fuchs dives and gets a toe to the ball to poke it back to Kasper Schmeichel, who bashes it clear.
Min 42 | Mahrez slips on the touchline, and inadvertantly plays a perfect ball for Luis to run on to. The Brazilian left back plays it inside to Griezmann, but Huth scambles it clear.
Min 39 | Albrighton has a pop from 30 yards, but it's several yards wide. Moments before, Okazaki looked to be obstructed by Godín on the byline, as he tried to cut in to the box. A shake of the head from the yellow-clad referee. Okazaki has struggled to make a meaningful contribution, so far.
Min 37 | Koke has another go from range. Again, he's not far away. The ball flashes just wide of the top corner and in to the wall of netting that seperates the crowd from the pitch.
Min 35 | Mahrez glides past a couple of red-and-white shirts, before Griezmann cynically fells him from behind. The Frenchman is lucky to avoid a yellow card there. His approach is indicative that Atléti are more than willing to get stuck in to Mahrez in order to cut the supply forward to Vardy.
Min 34 | Saúl cuts in from the right after lovely control with his head, shimmies, and tries to find space for a shot. He's crowded out in the box, and Leicester are able to clear, for now. The balance of play has shifted right back in to the home side's favour.
Min 31 | Vardy charges forward on the left flank, before cutting in past Godín. The former-Stocksbridge striker (yes, it's a Champions League quarter-final and I just typed that), tangles with Gabi, but no foul is given.
Min 30 | That was a cruel blow for Leicester. Just as they looked to be finding their feet on the Calderón turf, they were caught by an incisive counter attack. To add insult to injury, it should have been a free-kick on the edge of the box, not a spot kick.
Min 28 | GOAL GOAL GOAL! Griezmann sends Schmeichel the wrong way, and celebrates infront of the Atléti hardcore with his trademark jig.
Min 27 | PENALTY to Atlético! Griezmann gallops forward from well inside his own half, and Albrighton catches his heels. The foul was outside the box.
Min 24 | A lot of the play is now taking place in the middle third of the pitch, with Leicester seeing far more of the ball than in the first 15 minutes. Vardy trips Savic, and throws some obligatory expletives in the direction of the linesman: "I respectfully disagree with your decision, Sir", or something like that, I expect.
Min 22 | Fuchs has the ability to cross a wonderful ball. That delivery had a lovely shape to it, but Godín gets his head to it, and Oblak picks it out of the air.
Min 20 | A strong tackle from Ndidi in the centre of the park sets Mahrez free. Saúl is quick to sniff out the potential danger, and he hauls the Algerian down.
Min 18 | A rare spell of Leicester possession is greeted with whistles from the Rojiblanco crowd. This is better from the visitors; they appear to have weathered that particularly nasty Atlético storm.
Min 15 | On the odd occasion that Leicester regain possession, they're immediately looking to play in Vardy, over the top. He's having a tough time against Godín. The Uruguayan is going to win every aerial dual, so The Foxes need to be more wily with how they distribute.
Min 14 | Benny Hill theme tune alert! Torres has the ball, slips over, gets up, and manages to shoot. It takes a slight deflection and bounces harmlessly in to the 'keeper's arms. It's wave after wave of Atlético attack and, frankly, it's hard to see Leicester hanging on for much longer.
Min 13 | Griezmann lets fly from a good 35 yards. Not far over, but Kasper has it covered.
Min 11 | Once again, Carrasco finds a pocket of space. He beats Ndidi, but can't dance his way through the rest of the blue wall in front of him.
Min 10 | Atléti are taking the initiative. In their last four games, they haven't averaged above 40% possession. They're going to go well above it tonight.
Min 9 | Carrasco slices wide from inside the box! Huth could only half-clear a cross, and it fell to Carrasco on the volley. With Fuchs diving towards him, the Belgian sends it well wide. Regardless, that man Carrasco is occupying clever positions between the Leicester lines. Ndidi will need to be alert, and the Leicester defence will need to avoid dropping too deep, which would create a big space between the lines.
Min 6 | Torres has the ball with his back to goal on the six yard line. He can't quite get the ball out of his feet, like Dybala did last night for Juventus, and Leicester clear their lines.
Min 5 | Crack off the post! Koke cut in on his right foot, and sent a fierce effort on to the post, with Schmeichel flailing. It's been an end-to-end start, far from the stodgy affair that some predicted. May it continue.
Min 4 | Torres gets Atléti's first shot away. Griezmann played a neat ball for him to run on to, but Schmeichel was equal to it.
Min 3 | Leicester break away from early pressure. Vardy reaches a long ball first, nods the ball in to his path, and flashes a shot across goal from an acute angle. That's an early warning sign for Atléti.
Min 2 | Cholo Simeone is prowling the touchline in his dark suit and shirt, like a very well-dressed predator.
Min 1 | Here we go then! Atléti straight in to possession from kick off.
Atlético Madrid vs Leicester City live stream online: team news
Atlético XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Savic, Filipe Luís; Gabi, Koke, Saúl, Carrasco; Griezmann, Torres.
Subs: Moreira, Lucas, Gimenez, Thomas, Cerci, Gaitan, Correa.
Coach: Diego Simeone
Leicester XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs; Drinkwater, Ndidi, Mahrez, Okazaki, Albrighton; Vardy.
Subs: Zieler, Chilwell, King, Amartey, Slimani, Gray, Ulloa.
Coach: Craig Shakespeare
Atlético Madrid vs Leicester City live stream online: latest news
20:42 | The Champions League music is ringing out at the Calderón. 'Nada mas que tú' (Nothing more than you), reads the display in the Atléti end.
20:37 | Our AS English predictions ahead of the match... I (Matt) am going for 2-0, Robbie predicts 3-1, while Cal also foresees a 3-1.
20:31 | The teams are trotting in following the warm-ups. The Calderón looks gorgeous, bathed in the Madrid evening sun. We're going to miss that place.
20:27 | Riyad Mahrez is Leicester's main marksman in Europe. The Algerian trickster has scored four times.
20:20 | Only five Atléti players have found the net in the Champions League this season - Griezmann (4), Carrasco (2), Torres (1), Gameiro (2), and Saúl (2).
20:15 | After a slow start to the season, Jamie Vardy is in a grand run of form - six goals in his last eight games. Shakespeare has got him back playing on the last shoulder of the opposition defence, which is where his electrifying pace can do damage,
20:12 | Leicester have four players who are one booking away from a suspension: Huth, Slimani, Vardy and Ndidi. For Atléti, Uruguayan defender Gimenez is the only player walking a tight-rope.
20:08 | 'Diego Simeone sees kinship with Leicester, but will show no mercy'. This, by Sid Lowe for The Guardian, is an interesting introduction to how 'Cholo' views this tie.
20:00 | We're a mere 45 minutes from kick off. See how Atlético's and Leicester's key players match up against each other, in this useful head-to-head video.
19:52 | Leicester City last visited the Calderón twenty years ago. In their team that day... a young Emile Heskey. Foxes legend Muzzy Izzet was in the midfield too. Somehow, Atléti won 2-1.
19:45 | For the visitors, I think we'll see Okazaki getting up alongside Vardy when Leicester have the ball, and dropping back in to midfield when Atlético are in possession. His energy levels are superb. He's a real 'nuisance player', and will be key to Leicester's performance in both attack and defence.
19:37 | By contrast, Craig Shakespeare makes sweeping changes. Simpson, Fuchs, Ndidi, Mahrez, and Okazaki return to the team, having been rested. That said, it's still pretty much as expected.
19:29 | As expected, Atlético are unchanged from the 1-1 draw with Real Madrid on Saturday. Diego Simeone is, finally, in a position where he has the players at his disposal to create some consistency.
19:23 | A real shame to see a minority of Leicester fans causing problems in the centre of Madrid. I've been out and about in the city centre today, and it's important to emphasise that the vast, vast majority of travelling supporters are enjoying their trip in a responsible and respectful manner.
19:15 | Leicester like to shoot from the left hand side, with Marc Albrighton cutting inside. This season, 20% of their shots have come from the left hand side, compared to 13% from the right. The WhoScored website really is a rabbit warren of information...
19:05 | Leicester fell to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Everton on Sunday, yet Craig Shakespeare thinks his team will still go in to tonight's match with the wind in their sails.
18:55 | Atléti were still selling tickets earlier today, for tonight's match. It's very surprising that it didn't sell out long ago - given the magnitude of the match, and the fact that it could be Atlético's last European night at the Calderón.
18:48 | Craig Shakespeare arrived at Leicester in 2008 as Nigel Pearson's assistant. The Foxes had just been relegated to League One, and Shakespeare's first match on the Leicester bench was a 2-0 opening day win at home to MK Dons. Today, he'll be on the touchline in the Champions League quarter-final. It's quite a rise.
18:42 | Over in the Westfalenstadion, Borussia Dortmund and Monaco are walking out of the tunnel. The 'Yellow Wall' is looking resplendant, as ever. A vast black-and-yellow display awaits the players. Follow the match at AS English, with Robbie bringing you the action...
18:35 | Let's dive back in to the stats for a moment. Both teams, but particularly Leicester, have the reputation of not being averse to a long ball. This reputation appears harsh on Atlético; this season, Atléti have played an average of 62 long balls per match, which is the third-lowest in La Liga, with only Málaga and Barça going long less often.
18:22 | Atlético covered every blade of grass during their 'Derbi Madrileño' draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabéu. Simeone's team, as a collective, ran ten kilometres further than Madrid. Given the Saturday-Wednesday break between that match, and tonight's match, we shouldn't see any effects of that exertion.
18:03 | In their respective leagues this season, both Atlético and Leicester have conceded 29% of their goals from set pieces. That's 15 goals against Leicester, and 7 against Atlético, which is indicative of how their respective seasons have gone.
17:50 | 'El Atlético frente al espejo', or 'Atlético face the mirror' is AS' headline for the preview of tonight's match. There is a strong school of thought here in Madrid that Leicester's style of play is moulded on Atléti's.
17:40 | The atmosphere in Madrid has been overwhelmingly pleasant, with a number of families travelling over from England - yet there was some tension last night between Leicester fans and Spanish police, in Plaza Mayor. Eight Leicester fans spent last night in police custody and, according to The Spain Report, Spanish police have advised that they will spend a further night behind bars before facing a judge on Thursday.
17:30 | Given Leicester's tumultuous 2016-2017 Premier League campaign, their title win seems like quite a distant memory. Let's revisit it, shall we? Go on then, if you insist. Iain MacIntosh was in Leicester on that night that Chelsea and Tottenham drew 2-2 to send the Premier League trophy to the East Midlands. He captures the euphoric atmosphere perfectly in this piece...
17:10 | We also caught up with Atléti stalwart Billy Edwards, who witnessed Atléti's Milan heartbreak last May first hand. He is quietly confident about Atlético's chances.
16:55 | Acquaint yourself with how the fans of each team are viewing the match. First up, AS English chatted with Leicester City supporter Oliver Kirwan, who will be at the Calderón this evening. He is realistic about his side's chances, but is still keen to enjoy City's European tour.
16:15 | The most recent of those Atlético v Leicester matches came in 1997, in the first round of the UEFA Cup. The Leicester Mercury revisited that fraught night at Filbert Street...
16:00 | Leicester City have limited experience of European competition, but a fair bit of that experience has involved Atlético Madrid. 25% of The Foxes' European matches to date have been against Los Rojiblancos, and they have won zero out of four matches against their opponents for tonight.
15:30 | In his column, Relaño makes reference to unfortunate incidents between travelling Leicester fans and local police in Madrid. This video has also emerged of Foxes supporters ransacking a bar on a train in Spain.
14:00 | In his daily column, AS editor Alfredo Relaño looked ahead to tonight's Champions League action, as well as discussing the unforunate events in Dortmund yesterday.
13:10 | Here's a reminder of how and where to watch this evening's clash in southern Madrid - one that visiting keeper Kasper Schmeichel has - not altogether unjustifiably - described as the "the biggest match in Leicester City's history".
13:00 | We also have a live feed up and running that's building up to today's rearranged Borussia Dortmund-Monaco match, and picking up the latest developments on the explosions that hit the home side's team bus on Tuesday.
12:35 | Good afternoon football fans. Join us here for all the build up ahead of this evening's LaLiga-Premier League clash in the Spanish capital.
Atlético Madrid vs Leicester City: match preview
Diego Simeone's Atlético await Leicester City at the Calderón on Wednesday evening. It will be an intriguing tactical skirmish, 'one for the purists', if you will, with both teams known for their counter-attacking style.
Leicester have enjoyed a remarkable 18 months, and The Foxes will hope to place European silverware next to the Premier League in their trophy room.
Atleti come in to the match in a superb run of form. Prior to a derby draw against Real Madrid on Saturday, secured by a late Antoine Griezmann goal, Atlético had won six consecutive La Liga matches. This purple patch propelled the club in to third position and La Liga; yet while a title-push is not impossible, it is highly unlikely.
French striker Kevin Gameiro is a doubt for the home side. In his absence, Antoine Griezmann may partner Fernando Torres in attack. Tiago and Nico Gaitán trained on Tuesday, but the Leicester match may come to soon for them. Augusto Fernandez, Miguel Ángel Moya, and Sime Vrsaljko are unavailable.
It will be a match between seasoned Champions League campaigners, and novices. Yet Griezmann refused to downplay the task that Atlético face: “we know how strong Leicester are. They are a bit like us in the way they play. They have a similar spirit to us and they are going to be difficult opponents, for sure,” said the France striker, who is in contract negotiations with Los Rojiblancos.
Leicester fell to their first defeat under Craig Shakespeare at Goodison Park on Sunday, as Everton emerged 4-2 victors in a flowing match. Leicester had won their previous five Premier League fixtures.
With the danger of relegation ostensibly averted, the recently-appointed manager took the opportunity to rest players against Everton. Danny Simpson, Riyad Mahrez, Christian Fuchs, Wilfred Ndidi, and Shinji Okazhaki were named as substitutes. All five will expect to return to the starting XI at the Calderón.
One definite absentee for Leicester will be club captain, Wes Morgan. The colossal centre-half has travelled to Madrid with his teammates, but a back injury rules him out.
Shakespeare is aware that his side will be up against it: “facing a team who have reached the final in two of the last three seasons is a massive challenge but it’s just the kind of tie you expect in the quarter-finals of the Champions League,”
Atlético Madrid vs Leicester City: match facts
Leicester City have played 16 matches in European competition, and four of those have been against Atlético Madrid.
This is Atlético Madrid's fourth consecutive appearance in the Champions League quarter finals.
Leicester are the first club to reach the quarter-finals on their Champions League debut since Málaga, back in the 2012/13 campaign.
Atlético Madrid vs Leicester City: potential line-ups
Atlético Madrid XI: Oblak, Juanfran, Savic, Godín, Filipe, Carrasco, Gabi, Saúl, Koke. Griezmann, Torres
Leicester City XI: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy
Atlético Madrid vs Leicester City: match odds
Reckon Leicester will out-Atlético Atlético? The Foxes are at 30/1 to sneak away from the Calderón with a 0-1 victory.