Atlético Madrid confirmed their place in the Champions League Round of 16 with a 2-0 victory over AS Monaco this evening.
Diego Simeone made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Barcelona at the weekend, with Angel Correa replacing the injured Diego Costa and Thomas Partey taking to the centre of midfield in place of Saul.
Former Arsenal and Barcelona star Thierry Henry secured his first win as Monaco manager at the weekend with a 1-0 victory away to Caen. The man who won the Champions League with Barca made four changes to the weekend’s winning side, with former Atleti striker Radamel Falcao being relegated to the bench in place of Moussa Sylla, as well as Andrea Raggi, Samuel Grandsir and Han-Noah Massengo replacing Benjamin Henrichs, Youssef Ait Bennasser and Sofiane Diop.
It took the home side just 90 seconds to break the deadlock when Filipe Luis successfully found Koke with a 25-yard pass. The captain hit a weak shot which looked destined to head straight towards Diego Benaglio, however the ball took a massive deflection off 17-year old defender Benoit Badiashile and ended up in the opposite end of the goal.
Los Colchoneros continued to look the superior side and in the 24th minute doubled their lead. Angel Correa successfully made his way in to the box and with help from a slip from Jemerson easily found Antoine Griezmann in the centre of the box to tap in from close range. Griezmann and Filipe Luis both had chances to extend the home side’s lead however the first half ended with Atleti comfortably in the driving seat.
A youthful Monaco side continued to be submissive to Atleti’s game play in the second half, therefore Henry decided to bring on Falcao to add a more attacking presence in the team. The Colombian did manage to hit a couple of efforts after taking to the field, however could not find a way to get a goal back for the visitors.
In the 65th minute Stefan Savic was lucky to escape a straight sending off having raised an elbow at a corner. That luck ran out 17 minutes later however, when the Montenegrin was shown a second yellow for a handball in the box. Falcao stepped up to take the resulting penalty and although he sent Jan Oblak the wrong way, he saw his effort go wide and the game was effectively over.
Borussia Dortmund joined Atléti in the next stage after a 0-0 draw with Club Brugge at the Westfalenstadion. Atleti travel to Girona this weekend in La Liga with Monaco hoping to achieve a second Ligue 1 win of the season at home to Montpellier.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Arias, Savic, Lucas, Filipe Luis; Lemar (Kalinic, 63), Rodri, Thomas, Koke (Vitolo, 45); Correa (Saul, 69), Griezmann
Monaco: Benaglio, Biancone, Jemerson, Badiashile, Raggi; Grandsir, Massengo, Tielemans, Chadli (Diop, 63), Golovin (Thuram-Ulien, 63), Sylla (Falcao, 55)