Atletico Madrid Qualify over Inter onto Champions League, as Oblak saves the day

Atletico Madrid Qualify over Inter onto Champions League, as Oblak saves the day

Analysis

Football

March 14th, 2024

Atletico Madrid made it past Inter to the Champions League after penalties shoutout, after an aggregate 2-2 result. Federico Dimarco scored for Inter, giving them the lead just after the half hour mark. Two minutes and 16 seconds later, Antoine Griezmann equalized after some shaky Nerazzurri defense.

Memphis Depay's equalizer for Atleti with three minutes left forced extra time and penalties. Jan Oblak emerged as the hero by saving two Inter spot kicks.

Match Highlights

Simone Inzaghi has received a lot of praise for his work in enhancing his Inter team, despite reaching the Champions League final last season.

After a 1-0 triumph at San Siro, Inter had a little lead in the Champions League against a composed Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone was encouraged by Champions League leading scorer Antoine Griezmann's comeback before the match, despite his lack of intensity.

Nevertheless, Atletico Madrid's first opportunity arose from a rather unexpected player. Samuel Lino found himself with a clear path to goal and embarked on a skillful dribble towards Inter's net. He then unleashed a powerful shot, only to be denied by a strong save from Yann Sommer.

Denzel Dumfries overcame the final defender with his speed and power after Henrikh Mkhitaryan set him up. Dumfries' shot was deflected by Jan Oblak with his right hand, but the rebound fell to him, who tried to score again but was stopped by the goalkeeper.

AFP

Inter took the lead with a brilliant counter-attack. An impressive passing sequence engaged several of the Nerazzurri players, ultimately releasing Nicolo Barella in the penalty area. The Italian midfielder remained composed and skillfully passed the ball to Federico DiMarco, who confidently placed it into the back of the net with a precise side-footed shot.

In under two minutes, the home team responded, while the away team showed some surprisingly weak defending. Benjamin Pavard's clearance was poorly executed, resulting in the ball deflecting off his boot and landing at the feet of an unmarked Griezmann just six yards away. He expertly executed a first-time volley, sending the ball straight into the back of the net.

Atletico Could have been sealed in Normal Time

Atletico, despite not having complete control in the second half, will surely feel disappointed about the missed opportunities. The match saw Antoine Griezmann testing Sommer with a well-placed shot, while Alvaro Morata unfortunately failed to convert two promising headers due to mistimed jumps.

Barella had a golden opportunity to secure the win for Inter, as he was brilliantly set up by Lautaro Martinez. However, the talented Italian midfielder unfortunately lacked the necessary energy at that crucial moment, resulting in a weak shot that was easily saved by Oblak.

Simeone took a calculated risk. He brought in Memphis Depay, who had two excellent opportunities to score. He attempted to spin on the ball near the goal line, but was quickly shut down by the defense before he could take a shot.

The next goal was scored with just five minutes remaining. The shot from the Dutch player found its way past Sommer, but unfortunately hit the inside of the right post and bounced away.

Those two missed opportunities were redeemed with just three minutes left on the clock. Memphis showcased his skills once more as he skillfully controlled the ball inside the box, expertly positioning himself before unleashing a formidable shot that found its way past the Swiss goalkeeper and nestled into the bottom corner of the net. The score is now even at 2-2.

In the crucial moments of the match, Griezmann attempted to find an open Riquelme on the left side of Inter's penalty area. However, his shot was too powerful and sailed over the crossbar, leaving Simeone devastated on the ground.

AFP

Both teams had several opportunities during extra time to secure a victory, but unfortunately, neither side managed to score a goal. As a result, the game proceeded to penalty kicks, where Lautaro's powerful shot sailed over the crossbar, ultimately propelling Atletico Madrid into the quarter-finals.

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Image credit of Reuters

tag: Atletico Madrid , Inter , Champions League

Klind Parangoni Author

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