Atletico hold slender advantage over Dortmund

Quarter-final 1st leg

Atletico Madrid 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Atletico Madrid took advantage of some dreadful defending from Borussia Dortmund to claim a 2-1 win in their Champions League quarter-final first leg.

After scraping through on penalties against Inter Milan, Diego Simeone’s men had something to prove at the Civitas Metropolitano as the Argentinian turned to his trusted lieutenants.

Dortmund conceded the opening goal in embarrassing circumstances after just four minutes, with the German outfit the latest team to fall victim to shoddy passing out from the back.

De Paul celebrates his early goal.

Gregor Kobel passed it short to Julian Ryerson, who played a sloppy blind ball across the edge of his own 18-yard box. Atletico’s tireless midfielder Rodrigo De Paul read it perfectly to intercept, before taking a fine first touch with his right foot and poking the ball past the goalkeeper to complete their humiliation.

The hosts didn’t rest on their laurels as they peppered Kobel’s goal and it wasn’t long before they doubled their advantage. Nico Schlotterbeck made a mess of a simple long ball forward and collecting the ball from Alvaro Morata, Antoine Griezmann found Samuel Lino with a delightful dink and the Brazilian made no mistake with a cool finish to make it 2-0.

Dortmund sent on experienced attacking midfielder Julian Brandt to replace Felix Nmecha at the interval as Edin Terzic attempted to salvage something from the tie, with Sebastien Haller replacing the anonymous Niclas Fullkrug.

Haller fires Dortmund back into the tie.

The hosts had the chance to effectively end the tie as a contest when Lino ghosted in unmarked at the far post, but Kobel made an incredible block, spreading himself wide across the goal, to deny him a second on the night.

And out of nowhere, Dortmund grabbed a crucial lifeline through the substitute Haller, who fired into the bottom corner past Jan Oblak to bring the Germans back into the tie on 81 minutes.

There was still time for a late Lino miss and a Brandt header to strike the post. Whether either will prove crucial in the second leg is yet to be established, but Simeone’s men will take a narrow lead to Signal Iduna Park with a fourth Champions League semi-final in their hands.

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