Match preview: Beşiktaş vs. Atlético

Atleti take a two-goal lead over Black Eagles into decisive last 16 second leg fixture

atletico madrid's filipe battles former colchonero and besiktas winger simao

Filipe Luís fights off former team-mate Simão

A resounding 3-1 victory in the first leg of Atlético’s Europa League round of 16 match-up with Beşiktaş in Madrid sees Diego Simeone’s men with one foot through the door to the quarter-finals of the UEFA tournament, but they have one last stop to make on Thursday night (21:05 CET) before they get there.

Los Colchoneros will have to pick up their tickets to the next round…in hell.

Or at least, that’s what a banner awaiting los Rojiblancos at the Istanbul Airport claimed.

The warm welcome being displayed by a group of Black Eagles fans that greeted our players when they arrived in Turkey on Tuesday evening read:

“Lucky you, you’ll get to visit hell while you’re alive! WELCOME TO HELL!”

What our Turkish friends don’t seem to realise is that we’ve already visited the inferno; no, not Manzano’s last few weeks in charge, rather, Galatasaray’s Ali Sami Yen Stadium, site of our 2-1 victory en route to lifting the tournament title back in 2010.

Istanbul native Arda Turan, who happened to have taken part in that memorable thriller, could return to Atlético’s starting line-up for the first time since our loss to Barcelona.

The 25-year-old is very familiar with our opponents’ Fiyapı İnönü Stadium, having played there multiple times with the tenants’ cross-town rivals, who he spent his entire career with prior to his Turkish record-breaking transfer to Spain.

“Istanbul has always been a tough trip for European teams,” Arda told

“This makes our task very difficult. We must start the match as if the first leg score was 0-0. Beşiktaş have turned the tables in similar circumstances before and could do so again.

“We must be careful.”

In a press conference on Wednesday, the newly-appointed Turkey national team captain assured that he is fully fit and recovered from the knocks that have prevented him from seeing much action lately.

‘El Cholo’, who will once again be without his choice playmaker Diego, will be happy to have Arda in his depleted armory, though he would not reveal what formation he planned to roll out with in protection of our two-goal advantage.

“We will resolve who plays after the training session today,” Simeone said at Wednesday pre-game presser.

“We will see if we play with a [4-5-1] or [4-4-2 formation], as we have been doing lately.”

Because of former Rojiblanco Simao Sabrosa’s strike at the Vicente Calderón, Atleti will feel obliged to nab their own away goal that would force their foes to score at least three times just to stay alive.

A 2-0 scoreline in favour of the local outfit would spell our elimination because of the UEFA away goals rule.

Cholo’s crew are gunning for their seventh Europa League win on the trot, having broken their win streak record in European play a week ago when they claimed their sixth successive victory.

Atlético B stars Saúl and Pedro Martín make their third straight appearance in a first team match selection, while Pizzi, who was left off the squad that took on Granada, was handed a plane ticket to Istanbul and also appears on Simeone’s list.

Despite having been given a clean bill of health earlier in the week, captain Antonio López will remain in Madrid along with Sílvio, whose left knee surgery was deemed a successful one on Tuesday, and Diego and Tiago, who are both still nursing injuries.

Atlético announced on Tuesday that the team will spend the night in Istanbul after the game and depart Turkey on Friday, flying directly to Mallorca in preparation for Sunday’s league match against the local Primera División side.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Sergio Asenjo
Defenders: Godín, Filipe Luis, Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Salvio, Arda Turan, Assunçao, Gabi, Koke, Juanfran, Saúl
Forwards: Adrián, Falcao, Pizzi, Pedro Martín

Beşiktaş match selection: TBA

  • DJ_ZA

    Quarter finals here we come. AUPA ATLETI !!!!

  • dgsozkan

    We are the clear favourite against Besiktas. Yet , as I said before it’s always hard to beat Besiktas at İnönü. They’ve just had fantastic spectators who never stop cheering. We are quite better team than Besiktas and I’m %100 confident that we will take the game.Still , team should be fully concentrated on the game in order to avoid any redundant accident.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Sauru Ñíguez!!!, great so see him and Pedro got called again. I want to see them both playing against Besiktas. It’s gonna be a slightly complicated match because of Simao’s goal. I think Atleti needs to try to look to score first tomorrow to have some tranquility during the match and see the youngsters get some minutes. An early goal from Besiktas could complicate things and so that’s why Atleti needs to hit first. So hope we take the lead, start winning the game and see both Sauru Ñíguez and Pedro play some minutes. Aupa Atleti siempre!!!

  • shlomgar

    We must control the game like in the first half at the Vicente. Good thing we had this not so good game on sunday so Simeone could work on weak points revealed on pitch. I too have good vibration about this game, still I won’t go wearing my jersey, I’m sad to say I found the reason for our weak games, it’s my coursed shirt, every time I wear it during/before games something bad happens.
    Arda should definitely start, our 3 fwds as well, give’m Hell! other than that usual.
    Aupa Atleti! Cheers for the best club in the world!

  • Atletico will surely be at the quater final. Besiktas is a good club but we are better than them
    Let kick Besiktas ass out of europa

  • Urban

    Hope we wont be too tired in Mallorca since it will be an extremely important match.

  • Mert

    – To light a cigarette has a fine of TRL 75.-
    – To­ light a torch in tribune has a fine of TRL 1.750.-
    – To­ set a fire to kill 37 people in Sivas is

    Wellcome to Turkey, Atletico Madrid
    Be­ Smart
    Everything depends upon a Single­ Matchstick…
    CARSI(The Fan Group of Besiktas)

    *** *** ***

    Politik durusundan dolayi Carsi’yi tebrik ve­ de -haddim olmadan- takdir ediyorum…
    I appreciate­ what Carsi is telling because of their political­ view…
    Ich unterstütze Carsi wegen ihrem politischen­ Sicht…

  • dgsozkan

    Besiktas taraftarı olmasamda Çarşının futbol dışı olaylarda gösterdiği duruşa her zaman saygı duymuşumdur. Tam da adaletin karanlığa gömüldüğü bugünlerde yine kendilerine yakışanı yapmış Çarşı.

    Even though I’m not a fan of Besiktas , I’ve always respected Carsi for the character they showed about non-football events. They did what they suits them in these pitch- dark and full of injustice days upon us.

  • shlomgar

    Sorry guys but I don’t quite follow. Who’s gonna burn and why?

  • Sinan

    I don’t know who i should support, Besiktas or A.Madrid. It would be good for the Turkish Competition if Besiktas wins. But then again A.Madrid is my favr club, and would be happy if they qualify.

  • dgsozkan

    It’s about something happened 1993. 37 people consist of writers, singers,philosophers and 2 hotel employers are burned by some radical islamists in a hotel in 1993. It’s one of the darkest day of our history. But somehow , in the past few days courts in Turkey decided that this savageness isn’t a crime against humanity and lawsuit is time barred. So , no one gonna burn ,Çarsı is trying give a message in this match.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Athletic Bilbao 1 Man U 0

  • palc

    This tie is already over. We might not win this match but I’m confident we’ll go through. We’ve been a beast in Europa League and I would be surprised if we don’t win the whole da*n thing again. Man City and Kun, watch the fudge out.

  • Javi Lozoya

    United is losing 1 nil at half time, they’re almost eliminated, only a miracle could save them.

  • leika

    hmm which to prefer Athletic or Manchester United…

  • Javi Lozoya

    I prefer Hannover 96

  • palc

    I prefer Man City.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Lineups confirmed: Courtois, Juanfran, Godín, Miranda, Filipe, Koke, Mario, Gabi, Arda, Adrián y Falcao.

  • GS Fan 1905

    As amazing as Carsi is, Atletico have, just too much quality on the pitch. An early goal will seal the deal.

    Besiktas have been in a very bad slump the last couple of weeks and it will take something very special to come out of the slump against Atletico in the Europa Leauge.

    I want to see Arda score!

  • Javi Lozoya

    Game over for Manchester United, sucks for my countryman Chicharito

  • leika

    so if we go through our opponent will be Athletic or will there be a draw?

  • Javi Lozoya

    There’s gonna be a final draw

  • ratchet

    there will be a draw. I think its tomorrow

  • Javi Lozoya

    All right people, here we go

  • leika


  • Javi Lozoya

    Gol Atletiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!. Ardaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Turaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

  • OLEE!!!!!!!OLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OLE!!!!!!!!!OLE!!!!!!!!!OLE!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mais

    ahhhh god bless falcao’s head

  • Come on Simeone the tie is OVER let us see saul or another youngster play!!! Great by the way simeone.

  • We MITE have to play Athletic Bilbao you know. If we have to that’ll be three times in 7 days. WOW!!!
    Aupa Atleti!!!