Atlético Madrid won’t make another run for the Europa League title.
On Thursday, the holders of Europe’s second best cup competition were knocked out despite beating Rubin in an away game.
On a cold night in Russia the crowd wasn’t exactly warming to this clash between Rubin Kazan and the reigning champions of the Europa League. Only a few hundred people turned up at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, far removed from Rubin’s home ground in Tatarstan.
Although Simeone’s squad selection might suggest otherwise, the Rojiblancos seemed determined to correct their mistake from last week when they suffered a 2-0 defeat against their opponents. From the start the Spanish side dominated the game and Falcao fired off a warning shot early on.
The Colombian again came in a position to score a little later after a nice move by Adrián, but Falcao’s shot was blocked.
There were some opportunities for Atlético, but Raúl García’s header and Saúl Ñíguez’ shot were both aimed straight at goalkeeper Ryzhikov.
In the 60th minute Miranda nearly gifted Salomón Rondón a goal, but the former Málaga striker was denied by Sergio Asenjo. A few moments later, Saúl saw his shot blocked after making his way through the Russian defence.
With only a handful of minutes left to play, Atlético brought the excitement back to this tie when Radamel Falcao was at the end of a fantastic move by Adrián to score 1-0.
Rubin were then reduced to 10 men when centre back César Navas picked up a red card for a rash challenge on Falcao, but the Tatars held on in the final five minutes and knocked out the reigning champs. While the knockout comes as a blow for the Colchoneros, their early exit should allow Cholo and his men to focus on upcoming matches in the Liga BBVA and Copa del Rey.
Line-up: Asenjo; Manquillo, Miranda, Cata Díaz, Cisma; Raúl García, Mario, Saúl, C. Rodríguez; Adrián and Falcao.
Goals: 0-1 Falcao (“84)