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Atletico Madrid weave magic to stun holders Barcelona

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (3-2 on aggregate)

By Robert Jones

Published 14/04/2016

Down and out: Barcelona star Lionel Messi shows his dejection after Atletico Madrid's second goal
Down and out: Barcelona star Lionel Messi shows his dejection after Atletico Madrid's second goal

Holders Barcelona are out of the Champions League after Antoine Griezmann's brace sent Atletico Madrid into the last-four with a 2-0 quarter-final second-leg win.

After returning from the Nou Camp with a 2-1 first-leg deficit, Griezmann headed home in the 36th minute and struck a late penalty to give Diego Simeone's men a famous 3-2 aggregate win, sending them into the semis for just the second time.

Barcelona piled the pressure on in the final 20 minutes, but were unable to make the breakthrough which would have sent the game to extra-time.

Atletico's golden moment came nine minutes before the break when Griezmann powered home a header from Saul's cross.

Barca responded and Atletico were made to endure a nail-biting final 10 minutes, but grabbed a second in the 88th minute.

Filipe Luis ran clear and his ball to put Griezmann in was cynically intercepted by the hand of Andres Iniesta in the penalty area. Iniesta escaped with only a yellow card and the Frenchman squeezed his spot-kick in.

With Barca needing a goal for extra-time, Lionel Messi whipped a free-kick - for a handball inside the 18-yard box - over.

Arturo Vidal's thunderbolt and Thomas Muller's tap-in put Bayern Munich through to the semi-finals for the fifth successive season, this time with a 3-2 aggregate win over Benfica.

Vidal volleyed home 11 first-half minutes after Raul Jimenez bravely nodded the tie level.

Seven minutes after the break Muller steered in a nod-down from a corner. Substitute Anderson Talisca's free-kick gave the hosts hope, but it was too late as the game finished 2-2.

Atletico: Oblak, Juanfran, Godin, Lucas, Filipe Luis, Koke, Fernandez (Savic, 90 mins), Gabi, Saul, Carrasco (Thomas, 74 mins), Griezmann (Correa, 90 mins). Unused subs: Moya, Kranevitter, Jesus Gamez, Vietto.

Barcelona: ter Stegen, Dani Alves (Sergi Roberto, 64 mins), Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Rakitic (Turan, 64 mins), Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez, Neymar. Unused subs: Bravo, Douglas, Bartra, Munir, Adriano.

Man of the match: Antoine Griezmann

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Bologna)

Belfast Telegraph

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