Champions League - Quarter-finals - 2nd Leg
Atl MadridAtlético Madrid0Man CityManchester City0

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Man City (agg: 0-1): Mature City hold off Atletico in fiery encounter to reach semis

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Man City and Atletico Madrid players clash
Wednesday's second leg in Madrid was the 100th that Manchester City have played in the Champions League

Manchester City produced a mature and disciplined performance to hold off the challenge of Atletico Madrid - and set up a Champions League semi-final showdown with the Spanish side's city rivals Real.

Knowing a clean sheet would be enough to seal the tie, City kept their cool in the face of a hostile home crowd and intimidation from a physical Atleti side showing far more ambition than in the first leg.

Ilkay Gundogan could have made life much easier for Pep Guardiola's men by slotting in from close range, instead of against the post in the first half.

But in the face of much-increased pressure and a home side pushing desperately for parity, City put up a resolute rearguard action to confirm their progression to the last four.

Atletico ended the fiery contest with 10 men when defender Felipe was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous follow-through on Phil Foden, having also caught the same player with an arm that drew blood from the England international's head earlier in the game.

Real Madrid, who edged past Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final tie on Tuesday, now stand between City and a second successive appearance in the final of Europe's premier club competition.

Having lost to Thomas Tuchel's Blues in last season's final, Guardiola's side are seeking a maiden Champions League title in a campaign where they are still challenging on three fronts.

They lead the Premier League by one point from second-placed Liverpool - and face Jurgen Klopp's Reds in an FA Cup semi-final this Saturday.

We knew Atletico Madrid would come out aggressive - Pep Guardiola

City dig deep to reach the last four

City have grown accustomed to controlling games of football at this level, strangling the life out of teams through sheer volume of possession before surgically picking them off in what are often benign, one-sided encounters.

For 45 minutes here, though, they were given a taste of their own medicine and forced to dig deep against extreme pressure from an increasingly desperate opponent, whose ill-discipline in stoppage time should could easily have resulted in further red cards.

It is a huge feather in City's cap that they were able to hold firm against repeated attacks and then keep their heads as Atletico were losing theirs.

It is a shame that the credit the home side's attacking display deserved was largely overshadowed by their unnecessary antics. They included a potential headbutt from former City centre-back Stefan Savic on Raheem Sterling - and hair pull on Jack Grealish - during an unsavoury melee involving both sets of players and the two benches after Felipe's foul on Foden.

Clashes also continued at full-time as both sets of players made their way down the tunnel.

Prior to this, the 90 minutes had showcased a different approach from the Spanish champions in comparison to a first leg in which they operated largely in a 5-5-0 formation and failed to muster a single effort on goal.

Roared on by a vociferous home crowd, they pressed fiercely, harrying the City players all over the pitch.

Having stayed in the tie for three quarters of it - with Geoffrey Kondogbia's blocked 35th-minute effort their solitary shot across both legs - the hosts came out swinging for the second period.

Antoine Griezmann went close, as did Rodrigo de Paul, Matheus Cunha and Luis Suarez, as boss Diego Simeone threw every attacking option he had onto the field in the hope of breaking the visitors down.

But this is not an easily intimidated City side, nor does their elite attacking prowess come at the expense of defensive frailty, even when injury affected Kevin de Bruyne and Kyle Walker and forced the introduction of Nathan Ake.

John Stones was immense, with a block to deny a Cunha effort from close range the highlight of an intelligent and dogged display.

Keeper Ederson was also called upon for a heroic moment, saving superbly to stop Angel Correa's shot after the ball had broken to the Atletico man in the box in the 11th minute of added time.

Celebrations were mixed among the confrontations at full-time, but City have little time to rest after this epic energy-sapping encounter.

Saturday sees them face Liverpool in the FA Cup semi and, two weeks from now, Real will visit the Etihad.

Player of the match

AkéNathan Aké

with an average of 7.62

Atlético Madrid

  1. Squad number7Player nameJoão Félix
    Average rating

    6.03

  2. Squad number13Player nameOblak
    Average rating

    5.64

  3. Squad number8Player nameGriezmann
    Average rating

    5.52

  4. Squad number14Player nameMarcos Llorente
    Average rating

    5.50

  5. Squad number11Player nameLemar
    Average rating

    5.50

  6. Squad number12Player nameRenan Lodi
    Average rating

    5.33

  7. Squad number4Player nameKondogbia
    Average rating

    5.29

  8. Squad number6Player nameKoke
    Average rating

    5.28

  9. Squad number23Player nameReinildo
    Average rating

    5.23

  10. Squad number21Player nameCarrasco
    Average rating

    4.85

  11. Squad number5Player namede Paul
    Average rating

    4.70

  12. Squad number10Player nameCorrea
    Average rating

    4.62

  13. Squad number15Player nameSavic
    Average rating

    4.49

  14. Squad number18Player nameFelipe
    Average rating

    4.45

  15. Squad number19Player nameMatheus Cunha
    Average rating

    4.38

  16. Squad number9Player nameSuárez
    Average rating

    4.31

Manchester City

  1. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating

    7.62

  2. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating

    6.79

  3. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    6.46

  4. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    6.46

  5. Squad number17Player nameDe Bruyne
    Average rating

    6.39

  6. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    6.33

  7. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    6.30

  8. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    6.21

  9. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    6.17

  10. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    6.12

  11. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    6.11

  12. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    6.07

  13. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating

    5.94

  14. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    5.90

Line-ups

Atl Madrid

Formation 5-4-1

  • 13Oblak
  • 14LlorenteBooked at 80mins
  • 15SavicBooked at 90mins
  • 18FelipeBooked at 90mins
  • 23Mandava
  • 12Lodi dos SantosSubstituted forCorreaat 70'minutes
  • 8GriezmannSubstituted forCarrascoat 69'minutes
  • 6KokeSubstituted forde Paulat 69'minutes
  • 4Kondogbia
  • 11LemarSubstituted forSuárezat 82'minutes
  • 7SequeiraSubstituted forSantos Carneiro Da Cunhaat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lecomte
  • 5de Paul
  • 9Suárez
  • 10Correa
  • 17Wass
  • 19Santos Carneiro Da Cunha
  • 21Carrasco
  • 22Hermoso
  • 24Vrsaljko
  • 26Serrano Martínez

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 2WalkerSubstituted forAkéat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 5Stones
  • 14Laporte
  • 27CanceloBooked at 90mins
  • 17De BruyneSubstituted forSterlingat 65'minutes
  • 16RodriBooked at 85mins
  • 8Gündogan
  • 26MahrezBooked at 90mins
  • 47FodenBooked at 90mins
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forFernandinhoat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 6Aké
  • 7Sterling
  • 10Grealish
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 33Carson
  • 48Delap
  • 53Edozie
  • 87McAtee
  • 90Lavia
Referee:
Daniel Siebert
Attendance:
65,675

Match Stats

Home TeamAtl MadridAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home14
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Atletico Madrid 0, Manchester City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Atletico Madrid 0, Manchester City 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ángel Correa (Atletico Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rodrigo de Paul.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rodrigo de Paul (Atletico Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  6. Booking

    João Cancelo (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by João Cancelo (Manchester City).

  8. Post update

    Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Booking

    Phil Foden (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Rodri (Manchester City).

  11. Post update

    Reinildo (Atletico Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Raheem Sterling with a through ball.

  13. Booking

    Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Post update

    Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid).

  16. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Felipe (Atletico Madrid) for a bad foul.

  17. Booking

    Nathan Aké (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  18. Booking

    Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid) is shown the yellow card.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Matheus Cunha following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

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