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Atletico Madrid, Man City in for Champions League Q/finals


Atletico Madrid and Manchester City have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League leaving PSV Eindhoven and Dynamo Kiev leaking their wounds.

Both teams, however, did not get it on a platter of gold, though Manchester City had it easier after a 3-1 away victory first leg result against Dynamo Kiev.

It had to take penalties eked out of the woods by Atletico Madrid to see off PSV and book their place in the quarter-finals after a goalless stalemate at the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday, with Luciano Narsingh’s unfortunate miss from 12 yards the difference.

Jeroen Zoet and Jan Oblak came close to stopping a spot-kick on more than one occasion in a thrilling shoot-out, but Narsingh’s attempt against the crossbar eventually paved the way for Atletico to triumph 8-7. 

Diego Simeone’s men had to settle for a 0-0 draw in Eindhoven in the first leg as goalkeeper Zoet shone for the Eredivisie side and the 25-year-old was once more in superb form in the return.

Antoine Griezmann seemed set to give Atletico an early lead after some good work from Koke, only for Zoet to deny him from point-blank range and there were few chances of note after that.

PSV first threatened after 28 minutes when Marco van Ginkel sent in a dangerous cross from the right, but goalkeeper Oblak got to it before Locadia could tap home at the far post.  

Fernando Torres also struck the post late on in normal time when Zoet steered his effort on to the woodwork.

Lucas Hernandez and Griezmann spurned opportunities in extra time, meaning penalties were eventually needed, and both teams remained calm from 12 yards until Narsingh hit the woodwork before Juanfran decided the tie.

Zoet put in a man-of-the-match performance in the first leg in Eindhoven and the PSV goalkeeper again showed his class early on, keeping out Antoine Griezmann’s shot from close range after the Frenchman had been set up by Koke.

Atletico came close to breaking the deadlock early in the second half as Jose Gimenez headed just wide after another corner from Koke.  

The story was not far from the battle between Dynamo Kiev and Manchester City where the second-leg encounter produced no goal after ninety minutes enabling Manchester City to make it to the quarter-finals for the first time.

Having won the first leg 3-1 in Kiev, City were overwhelming favourites to progress and completed the job at the Etihad Stadium in a low-key return encounter.

However, manager Manuel Pellegrini now has serious concerns in defence ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with Manchester United, particularly over skipper Kompany.

Kompany was injured dealing with an innocuous ball in behind and he slumped to the ground before limping off, clearly frustrated, to be replaced by Eliaquim Mangala in the seventh minute.

The Belgium defender was substituted early in Tuesday’s contest after seemingly suffering a recurrence of a calf injury that has blighted his season.

Otamendi also limped off in the first half and there are question marks over his availability to face United in a match City surely have to win to keep their slim Premier League title hopes alive, with the gap to leaders Leicester City at 12 points.

City’s defensive woes continued midway through the half when Otamendi was hurt making a tough tackle on Vitaliy Buyalskiy and, although he attempted to play on, Martin Demichelis eventually took his place.

The match itself was appropriately limp, with City seemingly happy to control possession, although Joe Hart was on hand to make a simple save after Lukasz Teodorczyk found space on the right of the area.

Hart was alert again to punch Oleh Gusev’s flicked header clear from Denys Garmash’s cross, with Teodorczyk ready to pounce.

City had few sights of goal and Sergio Aguero flashed wide from 25 yards with their only first-half chance of note.

There was little change to the slow tempo in the second period, but Garmash’s inadvertent backpass put Kiev goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy under pressure with Yaya Toure charging in.

Aguero and Toure were then involved in the best move of the night, the former receiving a clever one-two in the area and dragging wide of the left-hand post.

Toure was instrumental again when he played a clever pass into the path of Navas, who drilled against the left post, and City safely saw out the closing stages, but they did have to survive a couple of scares.

Kiev had appeals for a penalty turned away when Andriy Yarmolenko went to ground under a challenge from Fernando, with Hart making a fine stop from Buyalskiy in the same move, before the England number one denied Olexandr Yakovenko late on.


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