Atletico Madrid knocked defending champions Barcelona out of the competiton tonight in dramatic fashion while Bayern Munich had enough in their reserves to progress once again.
Atletico Madrid 2-0 FC Barcelona (3-2 agg)
As predicted Ateltico Madrid played street football tonight in a tense affair. The hosts Atletico pressured Barcelona early on and forced them to hoof the ball clear on a number of occasions. One such clearance fell to Saul Niguez who’s sublime cross was headed home by Antonie Griezmann. Barcelona pushed for an equaliser in the second half but couldn’t find a way through the Atletico defence. They were exposed and a Felipe Luis counter attack saw Atletico run the length of the pitch before Barca captain Andres Ineista handled the ball giving Atletico a penalty. Griezmann stepped up to double their lead. A goal would see the tie go to extra time and a controversial call saw Barcelona awared a free kicks when Gabi appeared to handle the ball inside the box. Barca’s appeals were turned down and the Catalans were finally knocked out. Barcelona seem to be out of form lately and fans will be concerned about keeping hold of their La Liga title as the race hots up.
Benfica 2-2 Bayern Munich (2-3 agg)
Portuguese side Benfica did their best to knock Bayern out of the competiton tonight but the German’s quality in front of goal was enough to see them progress. The home side went ahead through Raul Jimenez with 27 minutes played but first leg goalscorer Arturo Vidal leveled the sides with 38 minutes gone. The second half saw Bayern star Thomas Mueller score a second away goal with less than ten minutes gone in the second half. Benfica needed three goals to go through and found one through Talisca with 76 minutes played. Bayern are looking good and will certainly be a formidable opponent in the semi-finals.
Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich join Manchester City and Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final draw on Friday.