Atletico survive late Dortmund pressure to hold on for 2-1 win

April 11, 2024 6:48 am

[Source: Reuters]

Atletico Madrid struck twice in a dominant first half but had to survive a late fightback from Borussia Dortmund before earning a 2-1 win in their Champions League quarter-final first leg this morning.

The Spaniards were in complete control in the first half but had to soak up late pressure from the Germans who cut the deficit with Sebastien Haller in the 81st minute and then twice hit the woodwork.

“We won, which is the important thing,” said man-of-the-match Antoine Griezmann. “The end of the game doesn’t matter. It’s a shame about the goal we conceded and that feeling of being behind defending.

Article continues after advertisement

“There were moments when we could have scored a third but the truth is that we have suffered a lot in the second half.”

“But it’s a very important to win. Now we need to go there and hopefully we can win. We know we have the level to reach the semis, we have demonstrated that on the pitch,” added the France international.

Atletico, looking for their first semi-final spot in seven years, put the visitors on the backfoot with a frenetic high-pressing game and it paid off after four minutes with Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel delaying a pass to Ian Maatsen and Rodrigo De Paul intercepting it to slot in.

Only three minutes later Kobel pulled off a sensational one-handed save to push Axel Witsel’s backheel flick over the bar but the Germans were seriously struggling to get the ball out of their own half.

Their best chance was a low show by Maatsen that Atletico keeper Jan Oblak pushed wide.