Fernando Torres was suspended for the second leg of Atletico Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final tie with Barcelona must that didn’t stop him from joining in the celebrations.
The Spaniard posted a picture of his teammates celebrating the 2-0 win on Twitter with the caption: “Another night to make history. Together we are bigger.”
And footage has emerged of the striker reacting joyously to both of Antoine Griezmann’s goals as Atletico booked their place in the semi-final.
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Torres was the villain of last week’s showdown, his two yellow cards in the space of six minutes meaning Madrid had to play the remaining 55 minutes with 10 men.
After giving Atleti the lead, Torres was forced to watch Luis Suarez secure a 2-1 win for Barcelona.
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The former Chelsea striker watched the return leg from the stands and nobody was more pleased to see Madrid win than he was. Given his red card in last week’s game, he was probably feeling a hint of relief afterwards.
Watch Torres’ celebrations below.
The former Liverpool striker hit out at UEFA after Felix Brych sent him off for separate challenges on Neymar and Sergio Busquets, questioning their decision to appoint a referee not of the “right level”.
“On the personal side I am very sad and feel very responsible,” Torres said, per Sport. “With 11 it would have been different.
“It's a complicated situation for me. It's one of my worst days as a footballer.
“They were two plays which could be a card or not. What's a shame is that UEFA are more worried about the colours of the shirts and not choosing a referee of the right level.”
Can Atleti win it all?
Fortunately for Torres’, his actions didn’t come back to hurt Madrid. Diego Simeone’s team have the chance to avenge the near-miss of two seasons ago, when Sergio Ramos scored a last-minute equaliser in the Champions League final before Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo broke Atletico’s hearts.
Given how comfortably Atleti dealt with the threat of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, they might just be the most feared team in the competition.
Simeone’s team have the best defence in the tournament and with Griezmann on the field, Atletico will always score goals. He took his tally to 29 for the season on Wednesday.
Even Torres, who hasn’t scared defences since 2010, is a viable option up front.
Chelsea fans will never forget the 32-year-old’s last-minute goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final four years ago.
Atletico Madrid will be hoping Torres can take inspiration from that performance in their upcoming semi-final contest.