Atletico 0-0 Leverkusen: Simeone's men through despite draw
Champions League By: Ayodeji Tunde | 15/03/2017
Atletico Madrid have sealed their place in the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League despite playing a disappointing barren draw against Bayern Leverkusen on Wednesday night in their second leg Round of 16 clash.Having recorded an impressive 4-2 win in the first leg, many expected Coach Diego Simeone’s men to complete a double over the troubled German side but that was not to be as both teams huffed and puffed for 90 minutes but no goals to show for their efforts.It was heart-warming to see Fernando Torres back among the substitutes having missed Atleti’s last two games due to a head injury scare.Perhaps because of the advantage they had, Atleti seemed disjointed for much of the first half, with Leverkusen allowed to knock on the door. Kevin Volland attempted an early shot past Jan Oblak, but it went inches wide of the goalkeeper’s far post.Angel Correa subsequently had a close-range effort blocked, before former Real Madrid striker Javier Hernandez took too long to pull the trigger at the other end.The Germans had Bernd Leno to thank towards the end of the first half as the goalkeeper made a magnificent double save to keep his side in the tie.Leno first made a fine stop to his left to tip Correa’s one-on-one finish around the post and then got a hand down low onto Koke’s daisy-cutter.
The endless tries that charcterised the first half continued in the second half but there was no luck for either side as Atletico held on for their 17th clean sheet in 20 Champions League home game.The last season's runners-up are the third Spanish side through to the quarter-finals, along with Barcelona and holders Real Madrid.They are joined by Monaco, who beat Manchester City on Wednesday, with German duo Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, and English champions Leicester completing the draw, which takes place on Friday.Match stats Atletico Madrid 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen (4-2 agg.)Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Godin, Gimenez, Lucas; Koke, Saul, Thomas, Carrasco (Savic 71); Griezmann, Correa (Gaitan 65)Bayer Leverkusen: Leno; Hilbert, Jedvaj, Dragovic, Wendell; Brandt (Bailey 78), Baumgartlinger, Kampl, Bellarabi; Chicharito (Mehmedi 81), Volland (Aranguiz 88)Referee: Karasev (RUS)