Champions League: Atlético 2 – 0 Porto

Raúl García and Diego Costa knock out FC Porto

Atletico Madrid versus FC Porto


Atletico Madrid sentenced Porto to a Thursday night Europa league schedule as the Portuguese team was beaten with two 1st half goals.

Atleti started their final group stage game 7 points clear of 2nd placed Zenit St Petersburg. Whereas the visitors needed Austria Vienna to pick up points and also for themselves to end Atletico Madrid’s unbeaten home record so far this season.

Atletico entered the game with only 4 changes from the side that thrashed Sant Andreu on the weekend with the two cantera starlets Óliver and Manquillo making deserved starts. Porto brought a full strength squad to the Calderón with every intention of taking all three points from the game.

Porto dominated the possession and shots on goal in the first half, but Atleti ended the first 45 minutes with a 2 goal lead.

Jackson Martinez, who was the main goal threat for the Portuguese side, initially rattled the crossbar on the 7th minute. Some moments later Raúl García added to his goal tally with an audacious shot from the narrowest of angles. The stocky attacking midfielder chested the ball down in the box and unleashed a shot that struck the crossbar and nestled in the bottom corner leaving a despairing Heltón stunned.

Porto mounted the pressure after the goal and when Aranzubia brought down Martinez inside the box they were awarded a penalty in the 27th minute. However, the 34-year old back up ‘keeper added a penalty save to his resume as he denied Porto getting an equaliser succesfully stopping Josué’s spot kick attempt.

Immediately after, Costa found himself one on one with Helton who stopped his ‘compatriot’s’ shot with a trailing leg. Diego Costa corrected his error in the 37th minute when he latched onto a looping through ball from Óliver Torres and, being played onside by Danilo, headed the ball past Heltón and coolly slotted into an open net.

Porto’s frustration was highlighted by the four bookings they picked up in the first half as they crashed out of the Champions League. Atleti seemed happy to counterattack and dealt with most of the danger they were presented with.

At the break David Villa replaced Costa, whose goal on the night took him to 19 so far in the season. Despite not seeing the lion’s share of possession, Atleti were in control as their Portuguese counterparts failed to break down their defence. Porto despatched a plethora of aerial balls to probe Atleti’s defence, but all were dealt with, most notably by man of the match Raul Garcia, whose defensive work rate was excellent.

Porto hit the woodwork again in the 68th minute as substitute Lica caught out Atletico’s defence only to be denied by the post. Diego Simeone introduced Léo Baptistão in the 81st minute to replace Adrián, who made little impact on the game. It was Léo’s first game back after picking up an injury in the first leg against Porto two months ago.

Overall it was a very confident performance from Atleti, who showed their class even without many key first team players. Raúl García’s red hot form continued as he shone again in the red and white shirt. Additionally, Emiliano Insúa impressed as he controlled the left wing as did Manquillo, who displayed maturity on the opposite side. Óliver, despite getting an assist, struggled against tough opposition, but vitally gained first team experience.

With the Champions’ League group stage sorted, Atleti can now focus on the league starting with a visit from Valencia on Sunday.

On Monday the draw for the next round will be held. Possible opponents for Atleti on the 18th or 19th of February are Arsenal, Galatasaray, Leverkusen, Manchester City, Milan, Olympiakos and Schalke 04.

by Luis Antonio Muscat

Atlético FC Porto
Atlético 2 0 FC Porto
Raúl García 14' 
Diego Costa 37' 
Competition UEFA Champions League
Location Estadio Vicente Calderón
Date 11 December 2013
Kick Off 20.45 CET

Team Lineups

Óliver Torres (61')
Raúl García
Adrián (81')
Diego Costa (45')
Substitutes used
Villa (45')
Arda Turan (61')
Adrián (81')
FC Porto
Alex Sandro
Defour (77')
Lucho González (63')
Josué (45')
Jackson Martínez
Substitutes used
Lica (45')
Ghilas (63')
Herrera (77')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • kris

    I’m so very happy with this win and this Champions League campaign so far. I just read on “InsideSpanishFootball” that Atleti have already pocketed 31.6 million euros. :).. This is so great for the stabilization of the team… I know I am expecting a lot from our boys, but I truly believe in this team. Let’s go for atleast semi-finals, if not the finals.. Aupa Atleti!!

  • kris
  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I said all what I can say about Raul Garcia in the last couple of months .. I can’t say anymore

    oh wait .. there is one thing :
    where are the people who asked to sell him before the start of the season ?!!

    and I repeat what I said about Aranzubia after the cup game :
    we should keep him more than the one season he signed for with us

    some of you guys didn’t like my opinion because he is 34 year old

    Well, for a goalkeeper this actually an advantage, not a disadvantage
    Having a good 2nd GK is very tricky, because it’s the only position that should NOT have rotation
    and a good GK will not easily accept to set on the bench for almost the whole season and play only a couple of games mostly in the cup competition
    That’s why most of back-up GKs are either very young (U 22) or old (34+)
    and in my opinion, the second choice is better,
    The GK usually reaches his peak after 30, and he can perform very good until 40 .. and some of them can even keep playing until 42

    SO, whoever will be our GK the next season (Courtios, Roberto, Asenjo or another one),
    I would like Aranzubia to be our 2nd goalkeeper

    and KRIS :
    That amount of money is not a surprise, the prize money is known before the competition starts
    except for 2 variables : sponsorship money & TV money, which according to your link is 14 million (until this moment)

    here is the list :

    Qualifying to Group Stage : 8.6 m
    Qualifying to 1/8 Finals : 3.5 m
    Qualifying to 1/4 Finals : 3.9 m
    Qualifying to 1/2 Finals : 4.9 m
    Runners-up : 6.5 m
    Champions : 10.5 m

    + Every Win : 1 m & Every Draw : 0.5 m
    + Sponsorship & Broadcasting Money
    (just like what is in your link)

    So Atleti money until this moment is :
    8.6 + 5.5 + 3.5 + 14 = 31.6
    that’s already 3 times more than we got for wining both Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in 2012 !!

    if we keep qualifying to UCL every season (just like Real & Barca), and if we keep Simeone on our bench for the average time that English clubs keep their coaches (10 years) .. in 3 or 4 years we will win La Liga & The Champions League

  • kris

    My point exactly about the money, Ahmad. LOL I am embarrassed to say this, but I will still keep on saying no matter what, because I believe of it, but Raul Garcia isn’t “THE” 2nd choice winger and never should be. There are reasons being that. Let’s be frank here, he is not best known for his passing or his dribbling abilities nor his crosses, but recently, his goal-scoring.I don’t think he should ever be played as a winger but as a “FALSE 9”. This guy scores goals for fun, and is a beast in aerial duels. We shouldn’t play him, when there are TWO strikers (Villa, Costa) playing at the same time, but when one of them or both of them are absent. You see, we have found the PERFECT substitute for an under-performing striker from our initial line-up. We can use him, whenever one or either of the two strikers are needed to be substituted(if playing badly) or rested, and this guy will do his job perfectly. We can start him for some home games against “easy”(I don’t believe any team is easy, though) but if we give him the chance, he will most likely help the team out a lot, either with his physical presence or his goalscoring. Or of course, Copa games as well. I don’t think this guy will mind sitting on the bench at all as long as he is playing at least 30 minutes a game. I say, we extend his contract for one more season as (I believe) it’ll be over after this season. This guy is a beast, and every team will love having a player like him in their team.

  • Dircil

    @Ahmad: well obviously the board of director will do everything within their power to retain the service of Simeone. However, it’s all up to him whether to extend his coaching time at Atletico or not. Unpredictable scenarios may happend, say what if Atletico achieves CL’s winner and Liga’s top! Then it’s reasonable that he’ll look for a new challenge in another club. Given his status after such achievements (let’s assume that the scenario above actually take place at the end of this season), I’m sure that big fishes like the city or Chelsea, etc. would pledge him for his coaching at their clubs by seducing him with a lucrative and irresistable offer which Atletico is unable to give. For as long as Simeone’s motivation is to help his club to achieve the status like ManU has got under the command of Fergie, then he’ll stay at the club till his retirement. We’ll see then which scenario to be the most likely to happen! Finger-crossed!!

  • Dircil

    @kris: agree with u, he’s more or less a good sub rather than a regular starter. What we need in the next season is a striker who has a similar playing style like Neymar since Costa, Raul and Villa know how to score!

  • Arjit

    Ahmed, the reason why people (including me) wanted Raul Garcia sold is because he used to play further back and with his pass completion rate it was not doing us any good. However, Simeone has figured out the perfect role for him this year and he’s doing very well. He obviously has his strengths but I think the Atleti coaches before recent seasons always saw him as a central or defensive midfielder. He has definitely convinced me (and I’m sure many other fans) of his importance to the team. He’s a beast in the penalty area but one thing I stand firm on: He’s not the solution to our winger/attacking mid/creativity problem.

  • Dircil

    Raul Garcia = a complete version of Fellaini at a very cheap price!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    great point Dircil, ” the Fellaini example”
    and that’s what I keep saying,
    he is not a super star .. he is a good substitute who -whenever he gets the chance to play- he usually scores and assists, and not just in easy games as many people used to say and think, playing against Porto in UCL is far far away from being an easy game
    and while many clubs buy a player with tens of millions and pay him 5 or 6 million a year to do what RG8 does, he does it with Atleti and he earns -I guess- less than 2 million .. or even less than 1.5 m
    now who would not want a player like that in his squad ?!!

    and if wining La Liga and the CL will make El Cholo leave us, then there is a part of me that wishes we never win them !!

    but I hope he will be like Ferguson, and I think he is
    the last salary for Sir Alex was 5 million / year .. much less than Mourinho, Finger Mancini and Guardiola
    but he never complained, and he never left

    I wish Simeone become the Alex Ferguson of Spain

    I think the whole world agree that El Cholo is not just a great player and a great coach, but he is a great man
    I remember when he said :
    ” I’ll will never coach Real Madrid, you would say this is not Professionalism, this craziness.. well, I’m crazy ”
    or something like that
    so I don’t worry that the money will allure him to leave Atleti,
    10 million / year are big money .. but also 3 million / year are not few

    What I’m worried about is him leaving to seek another challenge, with another club or with Argentina National Team

    but I hope that his challenge is to catch Barca in the number of La Liga titles, and to catch Real in the number of the Cup titles .. just like Sir Alex caught Liverpool and even passed them in number of Premier League titles

    Crazy ??!! .. well, you can not be a true rojiblanco if you aren’t crazy !!

  • ali_

    damn, looks like man.utd is serious is about koke. moyes was in the stands last night at the calderon…

  • pantic#10

    Napoli out with 12 points…and Zenit in with 6 points…
    Arsenal, Galatasaray, Leverkusen, Manchester City, Milan, Olympiakos and Schalke 04.

    Arsenal and Man. City are the stronger.
    Leverkusen, Shalke very difficult.
    Milan, Galata, Olympiakos probably the best for us.
    But all these teams have strong individualities so better don’t underestimate none of them.

    Anyway i think that are the other who should be terrified to face Atletico 😉

    RG8 for Brasil 2014. he’s a loose cannon, he doesn’t give reference points, he’s everywhere on the field. another great player modeled by Cholo.

  • Dircil

    Juanfran was converted from a Midfield winger to a RB and he has proven much so far. It’s now RG who has been transformed into a finisher by Simeone and seemingly he is on the right track undoubtedly. As a funny saying goes (I created it) “If you have Simeone as the coach of your club, a meat-butcher and grumpy player like Pepe can become a scoring machine or further, a serious candidate for the Ballon d’or”. Lol!!!

  • Danut Emrah

    You’re amazing this season! Hope you finish above that shit Real Madrid team! Congratulations for winning your group!
    Visca Barca!

  • piserakos

    agree with Kris about RG8 he is not a winger he is a CF . For me he is the most underated forward at the world i’m sure that if he keeps that way and have good managers his value will rise more than 40mill remember how many shit strikers were sold with this kind of money. We have to renew his contract cause have him with so small salary. Anyway I don’t believe Cholo will leave neither any of our stars, Simeone is a trully Rojiblanco he wants to win everything with Atleti he has a project and we will have him at least 2018. The only reason I see him leave is for Argentina but he is too young to become a national coach. Aupa Atleti! Moyes wants Koke??? Bring us 40millions at least and maybe he can leave but I don’t think so. Maybe for 100+ you can have him.

  • piserakos

    damn. Aranzubia as I told you Ahmad is a great choise if we want to have an all-star 1st GK. He has no trouble sitting at the bench, he is cheap and he can help. But have Roberto or Moya well for an all-star team(Atletico, Bayer, Real, Barca) is not the best, we can do this Barca has Pinto(10 times worst than Aranzubia) and Bayer has Stark(or whatever his name is who is also not something special.

  • pantic#10

    Abbiati (our former goalkeeper in the 2007/2008 season) said that he wants Atletico for the next round.
    How can he even think to win against THIS Atletico with the weakest Milan of the last 30 years?!!

  • starvs

    I used to think Raul Garcia was trash, but any striker being forced to start in midfield would suffer I’m sure…

    Olympiakos would be a pretty great draw…

  • piserakos

    Pantic he just miss Calderon:P there are people who they don’t know many things about football. Let them come:P

  • Danut Emrah

    lol about that rumours about Koke going to Man U ….why would Koke want te go to a mid-table team in PL ?? Atleti is the perfect team for him imo…..
    Visca Barca!

  • Chewie

    Atletico is a good up-and-coming project, very close to enter the Europe’s elite. All we need is a strong UCL finishing, maybe a final or a win over Real, Bayern or another top club in the QF. Also we need Cholo to stay for another couple of years to make his vision and club structure permanent. Then we will be able to attract world-class players and become a force respected and feared by others. i. e. everyone. But what troubles me is Simeone saying that La Liga is boring – he may leave to seek new challenges for he is really an extraordinary man, a natural-born leader and a winner. At some point Atletico could even join the Barca-Real tandem in deciding the league outcome. Then he’ll definitely leave.

  • piserakos

    Chewie, Simeone is a very clever man. Why he says La Liga is boring??? 2 reasons… 1) The same reason he says we can not win La Liga, he doesn’t wants the others fear Atleti a possible champion and come from the shadows and win it, it’s the same reason he keep says we are not favorites at any match, he doesn’t wants the other teams play too defencive against us. 2) He wants to wake up Spanish Federation and people cause Barca, Real gain a lot of money and the others just die from financial problems.
    I don’t think Cholo will leave at least untill we win everything. Aupa Atleti. Oh Chewie how can I have my photo when I comment?

  • starvs

    Exactly Piserakos, Cholo is both Sandbagging for strategic purposes and pointing out the sham that is La Liga financial structure (tv right distribution etc.). Although may be an accurate reflection of his beliefs, I believe that is tertiary if so.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    exactly PISERAKOS, and he said the same about Zenit & Porto after the draw :
    “Porto have a huge experience in the CL, and Zenit have a huge budget .. so they are the favorites”
    a clever man indeed

    and La Liga does need a man to stand up against Real & Barca and stop them from stealing the broadcasting money,
    the only man who stood up against them is going to prison for 7 years
    I’m talking about Del Nido, Sevilla president

    I hate Sevilla, but I used to respect this man,
    maybe the court said he is a criminal .. but he is a brave man
    he is one of the few people who had the courage to scream in the face of “the two giants”

  • piserakos

    well ahmad del nido was one but our team also did. We and Sevilla we used(we still use) to called as the rebels of La Liga the last 4-5 years. Me too I don’t know why but I use to hate this shit team, this came after the cup final. Valencia was for me the team I disliked allways.(of course Real and Barca)

  • pantic#10

    Ranking UEFA, Club:
    1) Barcelona
    2) Bayern Monaco
    3) (un)Real Madrid
    4) Chelsea
    5) Man Utd
    6) Arsenal
    7) Benfica
    8) >>>ATLETICO MADIRD<<<
    9) Valencia
    10) Milan

    8th with 104.685 points

  • Dircil

    Lol at (un)Real Madrid!

  • piserakos

    I told you that 1 goal this year was to be part of the top8 teams at Uefa ranking, next year group A. I think we can pass 1 more team untill the end of the season

  • Chewie

    @Piserakos: to have a picture attached you have to create a Gravatar account which is very simple:
    Of course it’s part of Simeone’s tactics to be diplomatic and evasive. The definition of boring also has to be clarified. I agree that Cholo has some goals in mind while talking like this but the situation won’t probably change in the near future.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    we have been switching between the 8th & the 9th position with Valencia from the beginning of this season
    and the difference was always very small, one or two points .. and some times a fraction
    end we even tied in November with 96.828 points each

    but now we have 104.685 and Valencia have 100.685
    while Benfica the 7th have 110.593 and Arsenal the 6th have 111.464

    I believe we can catch one or even both of them this season and be the 6th

    and I believe we can and we should stay in the top 6 or at least the 8 in Europe for a very long time

  • piserakos

    yes we can… Thanks Chewie

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    in fact, considering only the points of this season, we -with Real Madrid- are no. 1
    with the same number of points : 22.742

    but of course UEFA ranking is a 5-season system

    here is the overall ranking

    and here is this season ranking

  • pantic#10

    Take a look at the official Atleti website, there’s a pic of Raul Garcia smiling:

    I think this pic express in the better way his magic moment 😉 and of course for all the team!

  • kris

    Am I the only one who wants to see Bono play for the first team in a competitive game??

  • kris

    Raul Garcia has been incredible,, hopefully he can keep up his goal scoring form because we definitely need them RG8 goals…

  • Will

    R.Madrid has just dropped 2 points against Osasuna. Osasuna was winning by 2-0 so bad they couldn’t make it..

  • Amr Mukadaffi

    Can any1 inform me about who is suspended / injured for the next match ?

  • Dircil

    @will: the match against valencia isn’t easy breezy by the way. We may drop points in that match!! I’m looking forwards to this match so much!!!!!

  • piserakos

    @Dircil, we are going to win 4-0. Don’t say those word we should win. Anyway Real just dropped 2 points and I think Barca will drop also points against Villareal

  • kris

    No match is easy breezy by any means, but Real dropped two points today, and tomorrow we have the chance to go five points clear of them. It’d be a good day if Villarreal can pull off an upset in Barcelona, wouldn’t it, though?