Atlético Madrid 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Home » Atlético Madrid 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Atletico Madrid held off a late Borussia Dortmund fightback to hold a slender advantage after the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Diego Simeone’s side made a blistering start at Estadio Metropolitano and Rodrigo de Paul put them in front in the fourth minute after intercepting Ian Maatsen’s loose pass as Dortmund tried to play their way out of an aggressive Atletico press.

The visitors looked extremely nervy early on and just when it appeared they had settled into the game, another defensive mix-up allowed wing-back Samuel Lino to collect Antoine Griezmann’s scooped pass and calmly slot home Atletico’s second.

Dortmund improved late in the first half and again after the break but it took a fantastic save from Gregor Kobel to deny Lino a second from point-blank range as he ghosted in at the back post.

Having so nearly been out of the tie, Dortmund were right back in it soon afterwards when substitute Sebastien Haller swivelled to crash the ball in at the near post.

That goal sparked a thrilling conclusion to the match with Mats Hummels, on his 500th Dortmund appearance, atoning for his own error to get back and affect Angel Correa’s shot with the Atletico forward through on goal.

Moments later, 19-year-old English winger Jamie Bynoe-Gittens came within inches of bringing Dortmund level when his fierce left-foot strike hit the crossbar via a deflection off Cesar Azpilicueta.

Edin Terzic’s side came even closer with the last action of the game as another substitute, Julian Brandt, leapt to meet Julian Ryerson’s cross but saw his header bounce back off the angle of bar and post with Jan Oblak beaten.

Having survived those late scares, Atletico have the edge going into the second leg at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion next Tuesday.

Dortmund overcome early wobble to stay in tie

There was relief and frustration aplenty when referee Marco Guida blew the full-time whistle in Madrid.

While Dortmund can be frustrated their late onslaught did not bring an equaliser, there was more than a little relief that they ended the night with a chance of winning the tie.

As Atletico swarmed all over them in the first half, that did not appear likely.

Alvaro Morata had already come close before De Paul capitalised on the errant pass from Maatsen, who had been put under pressure by a pass from Kobel.

The chances kept coming with the away side dispossessed time and again by a relentless Atletico.

“There were phases where they completely overpowered us in the duels,” Dortmund captain Emre Can told DAZN.

Lino’s goal came after Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck got in each other’s way trying to clear a simple throw-in and Dortmund could only be thankful that numerous similarly sloppy moments were not punished.

“The first 30 minutes were not good enough. Often, at this level, it’s already over if you make so many mistakes,” Terzic added.

“But we didn’t accept that and still managed to show what we’re capable of.”

The introduction of Brandt helped Dortmund, for whom Jadon Sancho was sharp throughout, produce a much better showing in the second half, as did Atletico’s decision to sit off and defend their two-goal lead rather than push for the third.

Simeone’s reaction on the touchline suggested it was not necessarily the approach he wanted to see from his side, and when they did go back to the more intense pressing game on occasion, Dortmund looked vulnerable.

However, the third goal never arrived and the La Liga side were left to cling on to a victory that should have been secured long before.

“I’m not sure you can say we were superior, because in the second half they had the ball and pushed us back,” Griezmann told Movistar.

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

Relief and frustration in equal measure. For both sides. And another 90 minutes still to play.

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