Barcelona stunned at fortress Atletico
MADRID – Holders Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League after being stifled by a brilliantly well-organised Atletico Madrid and undone by two goals from Antoine Griezmann in a 2-0 quarter-final second-leg defeat.
Griezmann headed home Saul Niguez’s exquisite cross to give the home side the lead in the 36th minute and provide them with a platform from which they comfortably contained their uncharacteristically limp opponents to seal a 3-2 aggregate win.
The France forward scored again from the penalty spot with two minutes remaining, following a handball from Andres Iniesta, to complete a 3-2 aggregate victory that eliminated Barca at the quarter-final stage for the second time in three seasons. Barcelona, who were bidding to become the first team to retain the Champions League, seem to have run out of steam at the end of the season, having won just one of their last five matches.
They have not looked the same side since their 39-game unbeaten run ended at the start of the month and they came into the Wednesday’s match on the back of a 1-0 defeat at Real Sociedad. -Reuters