ATHLETICO MADRID VS LEICESTER CITY: 1-0
All hopes of Leicester city of reaching the semi-finals of Champions League were shattered down after a narrow 1-0 defeat against Athletico Madrid in the first leg of quarterfinals at Vicente Calderon. Antoine Griezmann scored the lone goal of the entire match through penalty which ultimately turns out to be the match-winner for Athletico. The penalty spot just shy of the half-hour mark which clumsily was brought down by Marc Albrighton, although replays showed the contact had initially been made outside the box. For Leicester chances remain a premium level as the home side failed to capitalise on their ball possession.
Diego Simeone’s side is comfortably chasing their third final appearance in four seasons and defeated Barcelona and Bayern Munich in last two leg games. Although they are not the favourites in comparison to Real Madrid & Barca still they have shown their strength. As the match started Athletico were strong in the mindset to defend with 4-4-2 line-up whereas Leicester followed 4-4-1-1 formation. Athletico kick-off with Saul Niguez making a perfect shot blocked, but the sight of Jamie Vardy tearing after Shinji Okazaki’s punt and firing across the face of goal demonstrated Leicester’s most likely route to an upset. Koke powered an uppish stroke to the left-hand post were Schmeichel grasped at thin air but then Yannick Carrasco failed to attempt the header chance and slashed at wide of the post. It was not a type of day Leicester would have expected as they managed almost 10 shots inside Athletico side but failed to convert on each occasion. Simeone’s counter attacking masters ushered Leicester in such a manner that led to the opening goal as Griezmann tore goal from the left with rapid menace, although referee Jonas Eriksson did point the spot and replays also confirmed that contact came outside the area but still Athletico was awarded a penalty. At the end, this controversy cost Leicester a match. At the end of first half of the match, Athletico riding on their luck were on lead with a score of 1-0.
Athletico started the second half with an aggressive approach to increase the lead as Antione Griezmann showed his soccer skills. On the other hand, Leicester too showed some strength through substitute to bolster their over-run midfield. Fernando Torres got a close chance to double the lead for Athletico just after Koke’s probing pass and just miss the footing. Athletico managed to keep his lead of 1-0 at the end of full time.
- Athletico Madrid has won 17 of their 22 Champions League home games under Diego Simeone with 4-Draws and 1-Loss. Athletico has been unbeaten in knockout stages with 6-wins and 4 draws.
- Leicester has lost on each of their three European trips, with Athletico still unbeaten at home against English sides with 6-wins and 5-draws.
- Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 9 Championship League appearances at the Calderon with 8-goals and 2 assist.