The pre-match reports were mostly about injuries to key players and issues around whether Barcelona would manage to loosen up the Atletico defence or not. With the result in hand, it can be stated that the Catalans did not manage to do that.
Atletico Madrid grabbed the atmosphere from the start and started creating chances against a paralysed Barcelona, like many times before when it comes to big matches for Barcelona. After only five minutes Koke found the net.
The Barcelona players had a hard time getting past the stable central block consisting of; Miranda, Godin, Tiago and Gabi. Neymar fooled with the defenders a couple of times but they did not come closer than a poorly directed header by Messi - a position which, however, should have resulted in a goal.
Barcelona dominated possession which is always to be expected but could not simply cope with the high pressing style of play which Atletico showed up with. Atletico was by far the better team throughout the match and deserved to go through to the next round.
Atletico de Madrid followed their coach's instructions and worked together as a team to win the double meeting. The referee, Howard Webb, put a very high bar on the game from the get go. However, he was equally tough on both teams and was therefore completely fair.
Atletico de Madrid wanted this more than Barcelona. The Madrid team won this match because they played with guts.
Result: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona
Referee: Howard Webb
Attending: 53 932
Atletico de Madrid: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Luis; Raúl Garcia, Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Adrián, Villa
Barcelona: Pinto; Alves, Bartra, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Cesc, Neymar
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