Champions League: Bayer Leverkusen 2 – 4 Atlético

Griezmann and Gameiro run riot in Germany as rojiblancos claim big win

Atleti in command after first leg win

Atleti in command after first leg win

Atlético Madrid got their Champions League knock-out stage off to a flyer on Tuesday night, winning 4-2 away at Bayer Leverkusen with a vintage counter-attacking performance.

Goals from Saúl Ñíguez, Antoine Griezmann, a Kevin Gameiro penalty and Fernando Torres earned a hard fought victory in Germany, giving Cholo’s men a commanding lead ahead of the second leg.

The match started in quick fashion, with Leverkusen dominating possession and Atleti looking to hit on the counter, which set the tone for the rest of the match.

Antoine Griezmann had the first chance of the match, but was denied by Bernd Leno in the Leverkusen goal after Carrasco played him in. Filipe Luís’ cross was then turned onto his own crossbar by Wendell.

Atleti weren’t to be denied though, and after a bright start they took the lead through Saúl Ñíguez, the canterano curling home a spectacular effort following a powerful run forward early on.

It was a goal reminiscent of his wonderful individual effort against fellow German side Bayern Munich in the same competition last season, and almost as audacious.

Instead of sitting back, Atleti carried on attacking and exploiting space on the counter attack to great effect.

On 25 minutes, Griezmann made it 2-0 after great work from Gameiro, who held the ball up brilliantly before teeing up his compatriot to score.

It was no less than the visitors deserved, and they could’ve made it three in similar fashion shortly after when Gameiro played in Griezmann again, but this time the Frenchman was denied by Leno.

Bayer came out with more purpose in the second half and it paid dividends straight away, the dangerous Karim Bellarabi finishing from close range after Atleti failed to deal with a cross from the right.

However, they restored their two goal lead just past the hour mark and from a penalty no less. Gameiro was involved once again, drawing the foul and stepping up to smash the ball straight down the middle for 3-1.

It came with controversy as replays showed that the Atleti striker had been clearly fouled outside the box, but fans won’t have been complaining as their team finally converted from the spot after an incredible 6 misses in a row.

Gameiro had another good chance to score on the break but could only hit the crossbar from a tight angle, before being taken off much to his annoyance for Thomas Partey.

Bayer still came forward though and hit back again via a Stefan Savic own goal, although goalkeeper Miguel Ángel Moyà will shoulder most of the blame for a terrible attempted clearance that came off the defender and went in.

Just as it looked like the Bundesliga side would push for the equaliser though, Cholo’s men sentenced the match through substitute Fernando Torres, who headed in another counter attack goal from Sime Vrsaljko’s cross.

Despite the two goals conceded, Atleti will be more than happy with the four away goals and can play the second leg at the Calderón in the knowledge that Bayer will need to score 3 times to stand any chance of going through.

We’re seeing a different Atleti altogether at the moment, but with Jan Oblak and Diego Godín to come back and the attack finally looking thirsting, it may be time to start believing again.

Next up, we face Barcelona at the Calderón in a vital La Liga clash on Sunday afternoon.

 


  • Koke

    Pretty good result, I guess. Not a very Atleti-type scoreline but we’ve been changing lately. I don’t want to think that Bayer could score 3 unanswered goals in our stadium, but they are very good at creating chances and are a very dangerous attacking team. Hopefully in the next game we get an early goal or two to kill the game off.

    Incredible game from Gameiro, I was disappointed to see him subbed out instead of Carrasco, who didn’t really have the best game. Great goal from Torres too, and good to see Griezmann get on the scoresheet even though he should have had a hattrick. I think our forwards are finally all starting to reach their best form. Gameiro is not a bad player like a lot of fans here seem to be alluding to. He’s very talented, and we’ll see him become better and better as he gains confidence. I don’t know who should start against Barca – him or Torres.

    Brilliant goal from Saul again. I really don’t know what my opinion of him is right now. He’s nowhere near the level of Gabi and Koke, but those two score nowhere near as many goals as he does. I still think he should be benched for Gaitan but I’m always happy to see him thrive.

  • Dealer

    Savic, Saul & Grizi all need to get sold this summer. They aren’t good enough.

  • Dealer

    Nico Schia can replace Grizi.

  • Is this any serious?

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I am calling Saul the German Slayer. He performs best when he plays a German team. Glad that the penalty monkey is off our back. I had my doubts that we would score. Four away goals should be good enough. But I expect Atleti to score at home. I would not give Savic too much grief. I know that Filipe is out next game, but Godin will be back. Gabi being out just means that Gaitan and is available.

  • snᴉsɐlB

    nah, just a shit troll.

  • Hannu

    Even if foul starts outside of the box but continues inside the box its penalty.

    All in all great game with vintage counter attacking even though those 2 goals of Leverkusen should have not come. Great game from Gameiro and hope Saul get some confidence too!

  • Karlp

    Savic is really climbing down the pecking order. I know he is kinda weak (for atleti standard) in aerial duel and not the aggressive type, but he is supposed to be good at positioning & marking. I believe he can be back to his best, probably need some rest now. Just remember how inconsistent Godin was before the 13/14 season.

  • Roberto

    Go on atleti,now! Please win against barca to create enormous self confidence for la liga nad the champions.

  • Karlp

    One more thing, the 2nd goal is almost the exact replica of the sporting’s goal, with the same 2 players (Vrsaljko & Gabi) involved. Needs more communication.

  • Zinni DUDU

    It depends on who we will face. Torres and Gameiro have different attributes:

    Gameiro is small, but pacy and has a good footwork.
    While Torres is clearly physically stronger and can hold up the long balls. I think against Barca Torres will suit more to our game, because we will play alot of long balls. I would put Torres always in the line up against Barca, because these are the matches, where Torres always shines.