Atlético Madrid beat Stromsgodset 2-1 in the first leg of the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday.
The goals at the Vicente Calderón were provided by Reyes, before Storflor got one back for the Norwegians.
Pre-match the stadium paid a tribute to the victims of the tragedy in Norway last week, but the contrast couldn’t have been more obvious when, soon after kick off, large parts of the stadium began chants wishing death upon Kun Agüero.
The stadium was very much divided and with little going on in the first half the fans had plenty of time to discuss whether Agüero and David de Gea deserved to be punished for their departures or not.
Meanwhile Atleti did create some chances, but Adrián failed to beat Stromsgodset’s goalkeeper Larsen after nice throughballs by Reyes and Gabi.
Adrián impressed tonight with his clever movement behind the defensive line, while Gabi pulled the strings in midfield. Another debutant, Sílvio, did well bombing down the right wing although he was a little suspect defensively.
Reyes had a good opportunity in the first half, but failed to control the ball and pull the trigger.
After the break the visitors nearly surprised Atleti, but Keita’s header lacked the power to surprise Joel.
The young goalkeeper, who got the nod over Courtois, then escaped when he seemingly brought down a Norwegian forward after he failed to hold on to a shot by Konradsen. Fortunately for Atleti the referee waved to play on instead of pointing to the spot.
Some minutes later Atleti opened the scoring. A pass by Forlán was brought down on the chest by Adrián, who then laid it on a platter for Reyes. The Andalusian winger curled the ball beautifully in the near corner and gave Atleti the lead.
In the 64th minute Atleti almost doubled their lead when Sílvio backheeled the ball to Forlán, but the Uruguayan was denied by Larsen.
Up until that point the Copa América-winner hadn’t been very involved, but two minutes later he got another big opportunity to score. Sílvio crossed from the right side and reached Forlán at the second post, but Cachavacha’s diagonal header hit the woodwork.
Five minutes later Reyes made it 2-0 when he curled in another great goal, again assisted by Adrián.
Atleti seemed on their way to take a comfortable lead into the return leg, but our plans were ruined when Miranda brought down his opponent in the 75th minute. According to the referee he was the last man, and the Brazilian newcomer was sent off with a straight red card.
This urged Gregorio Manzano to bring on Luis Perea, but the Norwegians capitalised on their advantage when the Colombian and the other defenders were caught napping, which allowed Storflor to score a vital away goal.
Atleti will take a small lead to Dammen, where Stromsgodset will be strong. The return leg will be played next Thursday, on the 4th of August.
Line-up: Joel; Sílvio, Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Juanfran (“78 Perea), Tiago (“80 Raúl García), Gabi, Reyes; Forlán (“72 Salvio) and Adrián.
Goals: 1-0 Reyes (“53); 2-0 Reyes (“73); 2-1 Storflor (“80)