Champions League: PSV 0 – 0 Atlético

Atlético can't find the breakthrough against ten-men PSV

Gabi had a shot that tested the PSV goalkeeper

Gabi had a shot that tested the PSV goalkeeper

Atlético Madrid will have to improve their finishing if they want to make the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League, after los Rojiblancos and PSV played out a goalless draw in Eindhoven on Wednesday evening.

If someone offered Atlético a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, they would have taken it, but this result is frustrating after one of Atleti’s best attacking halves of the season. Italian referee Daniel Orsato sent Gastón Pereiro off in the 68th minute with his second yellow card, but Atlético had the attacking edge both before and after that game-changing event.

Fernando Torres had two of the best chances for Atlético, mis-handling volleys and having one shot blocked as Juanfran fired in crosses from the right wing. The young Spanish national always sets up wide and Atlético took advantage of his open space on the pitch today, pounding the ball on the right side.

Antoine Griezmann also had several chances on goal, but PSV keeper Jeroen Zoet was in top form today, making four great saves and commanding his area well.

Diego Simeone chose to revert back to the 4-4-2 in this match, but with Saúl on the wing for the first time this season. The change was certainly a gamble, but it paid off as Atlético had more spring in their step than last time out against Villareal.

Saúl looked great on the wing, but Simeone chose to bring on Ángel Correa and change back to the 4-3-3 midway through the second half. The attacking onslaught continued so it is hard to argue with the manager.

Stefan Savic suffered a controversial yellow card early in the first half after a challenge just over the half-way line. The young Montonegran picked himself up and continued to pressure the PSV forwards well, winning several tackles and allowing very few chances throughout the match.

Pereiro had PSV’s best chance of the match early in the second half, getting the ball in the centre of the box, but Jan Oblak made the save. Maxime Lestienne had a chance to cash in on a volley after van Marco van Ginkel’s cross within minutes of stepping on to the pitch, but it went wide.

Corners may have been the deciding factor in this match as Atlético had 10 but could not get many shots from any of them. Gabi took the majority of the set pieces and tried a combination of short and long balls, but none of his efforts worked out.

Diego Godín had a header go in after one Gabi corner, but Orsato disallowed the goal after he was climbing all over his opponent. The veteran Uruguayan was solid in both defence and attack yet again and it is a shame he could not have a goal to show for it.

Koke looked more at home in the centre of the pitch and had several chances in the first half including a long-range screamer that just sailed over the bar. He was one of the key players in our preview before the match, but he seemed to fade a bit in the second half.

As the game drew to a close, Atleti tried to salvage an away goal from their man-advantage. They had a flurry of chances, the best being a Griezmann header, but again it was the corners and the volleys on which they could not seem to get a final touch.

With everything that happened, it was a frustrating result for Atleti, but they will have to forget it quickly and realiee they are favourites going into the second leg in the Calderón on March 15th. Next up is the long-awaited Madrid derby in the Santiago Bernabeu. Kickoff is set for 16:00 Central European Time on Saturday.

PSV Eindhoven Atlético Madrid
PSV Eindhoven 0 0 Atlético Madrid
Competition UEFA Champions League
Location Philips Stadion, Eindhoven
Date 24 February 2016
Kick Off 20:45 CET
  • Koke

    This is getting so troublesome. What do we have to do in the summer? Bring someone like Aubameyang or Higuain? (personally I wouldn’t object). Why can’t we score, ever?

    Maybe some of you will argue with me on this, but I don’t Atleti has played a single great game this ENTIRE season. The closest we came was against Barca, until we got reduced to 9 men. The only other times we looked even a little world class over 90 minutes was against mediocre teams like Astana and Galatasaray. Yes, a true champion has to be able to get results even when they play badly. But that doesn’t mean ALWAYS play badly.

    Koke hasn’t been the same since Costa left. Those two had a legendary understanding, now I don’t see Koke feeding the attackers that much anymore. He needs to play deeper and let Oliver take his place. And our players need to learn to create offensive plays. They seem to get near the opponent’s box and they don’t know what to do anymore because they’re so used to playing defense.

    Maybe I’m ranting too much or being too hard on them, but let’s be honest: what is more surprising to you now? A game where Atleti scores 3 goals or a game where we score 0? Think about it. Hell, even 2 goals is an anomaly. I really hope PSV don’t score an away goal cause then we’re in trouble.

  • atletiIndia12

    Well ,it’s not that our midfield (Koke in particular )was that great in league winning season.We had big,muscular boys upfront like Raul Garcia,Costa etc who would score either from set piece ,grind it out in opposition’s box or on counters.Now, big dirty boys are gone but our midfield stays similar.That’s the problem both Correa and vietto up front as these two have ability to link up and compliment Oliver.Torres upfront is just useless,he can’t pass or hold up and misses a lot of chances too.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think it was Arjit who once said that Simeone does not have an attacking system .
    He couldn’t be more right, and it’s not just that he doesn’t have an attacking game play, but it’s more about how he built his squad this season :
    We have 6 defensive midfielders, Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Saul, Augusto & Kranevitter, and I don’t care if Saul was the 2nd top scorer of the team, because 3 of his 6 goals were headers from corners, it could have been Godin or Gimenez, and I don’t care if the whole world considered Koke an attacking midfielder, as I said a thousand times : look at the number of his goals and his OPEN-PLAY assists, definitely not an AM numbers .
    We have only one playmaker, Oliver, who doesn’t play very often and who still needs more experience and maturity .
    We have only one winger, Carrasco, or let’s make them two since Correa can play on the wing as well .
    And we have/had 4 strikers, Jackson, Torres, Vietto & Grizi, five with Correa .
    We now have only one left back, who is defensively good, but in attack, the closer he gets to the opponent’s goal the clumsier he becomes, and we loaned the other LB who was much better offensively, even if many people wouldn’t admit it .

    This is missed up, where will the creativity come from ?! .. who will feed the ball to those 5 strikers ?!
    And why are they five ?! .. when we signed Jackson Kris was against that move, he thought that we didn’t need him while having Grizi, Torres, Correa & Vietto, and what happened ?! we sold him in the winter .
    Real Madrid have been playing with one striker for a very long time, they only have Benzema, but behind him there are Cristiano, Bale, James, Isco, and Modrić, who is usually a defensive midfielder but when is needed he can be a great AM .
    Barca has only Suarez, but behind him there are Messi, Neymar, Iniesta, Rakitić, Rafinha & Arda .
    Chelsea had only Costa last season, with Drogba having more off-pitch role than on-pitch and with Remy being used in emergencies, but behind Costa they had Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Fabregas and even Schürrle & Salah in the first half of the season .
    I can keep giving examples .

    You would expect to see Oliver playing the whole 90 minutes every single game even if he had some bad ones, because he is the closest thing we have to a playmaker, but that isn’t happening .
    And you would expect to read about signing a playmaker next season, but all what we are reading is bringing Costa and Borja back, and not reading about selling or loaning Correa or Vietto, and of course we will fight very hard to keep Grizi, so we could end up again with 5 strikers !!

    And are those 5 strikers really playing, Except Grizi ?!
    Torres has played less minutes than Tiago, who has been injured for months .
    Vietto has played less minutes than Gamez, our back-up RB .
    Correa just completed 1000 minutes tonight, out of 3420 possible, less than FOUR center midfielders :
    Koke 2726
    Gabi 2708
    Saul 2092
    Tiago 1430
    And have I said before that Munir, despite playing with the MSN has played more minutes than Correa ??!!
    And since I’m talking about the minutes, Oliver has played less minutes than Savić, our back-up CB .

    Bring Luis Suarez, put Grizi next to him, put Gabi-Tiago-Koke-Saul or Gabi-Augusto-Koke-Saul behind them, and he will struggle to score too .
    One of the teams against which we started with Gabi-Tiago-Koke-Saul was Astana !! and some people are talking about titles !
    Fuck, I won’t be shocked if PSV managed to get an away goal at the Calderon and knocked us out, because we will never score two, and with the derby next Saturday and Real Sociedad on Tuesday then a visit to Mestalla the Sunday after that, we could find ourselves in the 4th place, and then the Cholistas will blame the two Torreses, Fernando and Oliver !!!

  • atletiIndia12

    You’re right about playing 4cdms.People celebrated Saul’s renewal ,he’s a great cdm in making but he’s a destroyer like our all midfielders (save Oliver)Koke was never an attacking midfielder in first place.His play was complemented by Guys like Costa and Raul who would outmuscle in box to get goals.Our Attackers have changed but midfield plays the same old cholismo way.Correa needs to develop and is showing his ability in box ,yet he’s like 4th choice.Torres was awful last night,he could neither pass ,hold up or shoot.Vietto should have not been subbed.It was glaring when Correa was not finding any player to link up with in final 20minutes.Torres just don’t fit with 2 other attackers.Nothing personal against him,it’s just he’s no game for 4-3-3.

  • babar

    simeone has to go
    Torres is absolute joke

  • Mrtn

    You can field any player on earth, sign all the best playmakers in the world.

    The problem is that these players do not train properly. They can not do basic skills on the pitch. Like passing the ball to the teammate. They can not give trough balls allowing the teammate to run onto the ball with speed and not losing pace by controling shitty passes. They can not do a 1-2 as they can’t figure out where the teammate should be. They can’t do one touch passes, no wonder our “counter attacks” are a joke.

    I am sure the training schedule is totally unbalanced, I guess Cholo only concentrates on defensive positioning and stamina.

    Many of us see Koke is not an attacking mf. But we can not oversee how he loses his form from season to season since Cholo arrived. But I am sure Koke is not getting worse, he just lacks the proper training heavily, and so do the others in the squad.

    Without proper attcaking training we will only get even worse. But hey, just one more year and Cholo will perfect his tactics like the real masters:

    Our passing skills almost reached the standard.

    Vamos Atleti!!

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Scoring is the problem. We were robbed of Godin’s goal. But we should be scoring more than Zero or 1 goal on average a game. Our players look lost the closer they get to the opponents goal. For those that have been watching Atleti all season, you know that defensively we are one of the best teams in the world. But with scoring, we are one of the worst. Cholo is a defensive mastermind and has given us fans a taste of the forbidden fruit. That fruit is winning. But now that we no longer have the big attackers that will grind out the win, we need to teach our players tactics on how to attack. Simeone may need to hire an assistant that can do that. Especially if he decides to stay until 2020.