UCL Match Report: Atletico Madrid 2 ~ 0 Galatasaray + Highlights

griezmannDiego Simeone’s charges could have won by an even greater margin, but two goals from the France forward were sufficient to seal a spot in the knock-out stages

A double from Antoine Griezmann confirmed Atletico Madrid’s place in the Champions League last-16, as the Spaniards ended Galatasaray’s dream with a 2-0 victory.

A point would have been enough for Diego Simeone’s side after Group C rivals Astana and Benfica drew 2-2 earlier in the day, but they made absolutely sure with a fine performance.

The Turkish champions should have taken the lead after 10 minutes but Wesley Sneijder missed from close range, with Griezmann thumping in a header from Gabi’s fine cross moments later to open the scoring.

Atleti’s dominance was total but Fernando Muslera kept his side in the game with saves from Griezmann and Koke shortly after the break.

Once Gabi set up Griezmann for his fourth goal against Galatasaray this season, a simple tap in from close range midway into the second half, Atletico’s passage into the next round was secure, with Gala left to fight Astana for a place in the Europa League.

Led by interim boss Claudio Taffarel, Gala struggled to make a fist of the game, although they ought to have taken an early lead when Sneijder weaved into the area, only to screw wide left-footed.

Gala were immediately made to pay for Sneijder’s miss when Griezmann put Atleti into the lead. Gabi was given far too much room on the right wing and his cross was perfect for the France international, who powered a header into the top corner from six yards.

Griezmann, who scored both goals in Atleti’s 2-0 win in Istanbul, almost doubled the lead on 15 minutes but his speculative volley from 25 yards was comfortably saved by Muslera.

The 2014 finalists were pushing hard for a second goal and Koke’s 20-yard effort fizzed just beyond Muslera’s far post, before Diego Godin headed a corner over the bar.

Atletico had only been beaten twice in their last 25 Champions League games at the Vicente Calderon and seconds after the break Griezmann was through on goal to put the result beyond doubt, but Muslera was quick off his line to block the shot.

The goalkeeper was immediately in the thick of the action again, alert to deny Koke from a right-wing cross by Jesus Gamez, before Fernando Torres shot wide from a tight angle.

But the second goal finally arrived after 64 minutes via the same combination.

Galatasaray could not cope with Atleti’s swift passing and Gabi squared for Griezmann to tap in from close range, although he appeared to be offside.

It should have been 3-0 but substitute Luciano Vietto shot straight at Muslera after being played in by Torres, who was then himself denied by the impressive Uruguay international goalkeeper.

Atletico travel to Benfica in the final group match to decide who tops Group C.

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