Date: 14th April 2016 at 3:27pm
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Atletico Madrid overturned a 2-1 deficit to knock holders Barcelona out of the Champions League and advance to the semi-finals.

A brace from Antoine Griezmann helped Atletico on their way, as Barca’s dreams of becoming the first club to successfully retain the Champions League were crushed at the Vicente Calderon.

Although Luis Enrique’s side dominated the first half, they only had one touch in the Atletico penalty area as Diego Simeone’s men were organised and kept their composure throughout the match.

After 28 minutes, Atletico felt aggrieved that they weren’t awarded a penalty when Gerard Pique challenged Yannick Carrasco, jumping on the ball in the process, but the referee waved away the protests.

It didn’t matter that much though as Simeone’s side took the lead minutes later. Saul made space for himself in the right channel, and his curling ball was met by the head of Griezmann to put the hosts in front.

Despite overwhelming possession stats and polar-opposite philosophies, the hosts were the ones more likely to score. Lucas hit the post for the former, whilst Luiz Suarez elbowed fellow Uruguayan Diego Godin, leaving him with a black eye.

Two minutes remained and, chasing a goal, Barcelona were caught on the break, as Filipe Luis ran the length of the pitch, before his cross was blocked by the hand of Andres Iniesta, and Atletico were awarded a penalty.

Griezmann held his nerve to double the lead, and Lionel Messi missed a free-kick in stoppage time to ensure Atletico qualified for the semi-finals.

griezmann (antoine) - masqué-

The Atletico Madrid players and management staff celebrate Antoine Griezmann’s second goal.

Bayern Munich survived an early scare to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory over Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Pep Guardiola could come up against future side Manchester City in the semi-finals, though his Bayern side will need to improve following a sub-standard performance at the Estadio da Luz.

The Bundesliga holders dominated the opening stages, but it was Benfica who took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Eliseu made his way down the left wing, and delivered a cross for Raul Jimenez to head home, after Manuel Neuer horribly misjudged the flight of the ball.

Just a couple of minutes later, Benfica should have put themselves ahead on the night and on aggregate. Eduardo Salvio managed to pick out Jimenez in the box, and although the Mexican had plenty of time and space from just six yards out, he poked his effort straight at Neuer.

The Eagles rued that chance, as Bayern went ahead on aggregate on the stroke of half-time. Philipp Lahm’s cross was cleared only as far as Arturo Vidal, who smashed the ball into the top of the net.

Shortly after the interval, the visitors moved ahead on the night. Xabi Alonso’s free-kick eventually fell to Javi Martinez, who found Thomas Muller and the Germany international finished from close range.

Benfica managed to restore some pride with 15 minutes remaining, as Anderson Talisca curled home a free-kick, but they couldn’t find the two goals their required as Bayern held on to qualify for their fifth successive semi-final.

 
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