Barcelona’s hopes of winning back-to-back Champions League titles were extinguished at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night, with Atletico Madrid winning 2-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.
A fine first-half header from French winger Antoine Griezmann levelled the tie at 2-1 in the first-half, as Barca struggled to break down Diego Simeone’s well-drilled side.
— Max Bentley (@MaxBentley1) April 13, 2016
After the break, the visitors pushed for a precious equaliser but the front-three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar failed to deliver, with Messi of all people failing to muster a single shot on goal.
Luis Enrique’s side should’ve had a penalty late on when Gabi clearly handled in the box, only for ref Nicola Rizzoli to ignore the protests.
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) April 13, 2016
Then, after Andres Iniesta had himself handled in the box (and was lucky not to see red), Griezmann converted the resulting spot-kick to seal the deal for the Rojiblancos on 88 minutes.
So, as in the 2013/14 season, Atletico have dumped the great Barcelona out of the Champions League, leaving Simeone’s side to join rival Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich (who beat Benfica 3-2 on aggregate) in the last four.
As for Messi and co., the previously all-conquering Catalans have now lost three of their last four games, with that Clasico defeat at the hands of Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid arguably taking its toll on Barca’s mental state. Indeed, in La Liga, Atletico are just three points behind, as the pressure grows at the Nou Camp.
Here’s the highlights…