NEWS
Tuesday December 5 2017
Europa League awaits Atleti

Atletico Madrid crashed out of the Champions League group stage after a 1-1 draw with Chelsea, which saw them drop into the Europa League.

See how the action unfolded at Stamford Bridge with our liveblog!

Despite a typically-resilient performance by Atleti and Saul Niguez breaking the deadlock near the hour mark, Stefan Savic’s unlucky own goal condemned the recent finalists to Europe’s second-tier competition for the first time in four years.

Diego Simeone replaced Diego Godin, Angel Correa and Kevin Gameiro with Stefan Savic, Lucas Hernandez and former Blues striker Fernando Torres, who had yet to score in La Liga or the Champions League.

Atleti needed to beat Chelsea and were banking on Roma failing to beat Qarabag as they trailed the Italians by just one goal and possessed a superior head-to-head record.

Los Colchoneros had failed to win any of their last four away games in the Champions League, and Jan Oblak did his best to prevent that run being extended to five.

The goalkeeper got down low to save Alvaro Morata’s sliding finish, before parrying his cross-shot and pushing away Davide Zappacosta’s angled effort at full-stretch.

Oblak was soon on hand to keep out headers from Andreas Christensten and Morata, while Eden Hazard had a close-range shot deflected just wide after he had shimmied Atleti captain Gabi Fernandez.

Out of nowhere, however, Filipe Luis fizzed a half-volley on to Thibaut Courtois’ left-hand post, although the former Rojiblancos goalkeeper was able to smother the rebound.

That gave Atleti the lift they needed, and Tiemoue Bakayoko failed to pick up Saul Niguez at the far post from a corner, the midfielder going on to head in for his first European goal of the season.

The visitors subsequently sat deeper with the intention of protecting their surprise lead, yet Stefan Savic turned Hazard’s cross into his own net, thereby ending his team’s hopes of the last 16.

It could’ve got worse for Atleti, but Oblak denied Morata one-on-one after the ex-Real Madrid forward was found unmarked by Cesc Fabregas’ cutback.

Willian then blazed over from a matter of yards out, despite being unopposed in Atleti’s box, but Griezmann similarly came a whisker away from tucking home Filipe’s low cross.

Michy Batshuayi was introduced late on, but the striker couldn’t punish Atleti like he did at Wanda Metropolitano three months ago, his shot having swerved the wrong side of Oblak’s far post.

Roma’s 1-0 win against Qarabag also had repercussions for Chelsea, who finished second in Group C as a result.

Chelsea 1-1 Atletico Madrid

Savic og 75 (AM) Saul 56 (AM)

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta (Willian 73), Kante, Cesc, Bakayoko (Pedro 64), Kante; Hazard, Morata (Batshuayi 81)

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Gimenez (Vietto 79), Savic, Lucas, Filipe; Koke, Thomas, Gabi (Correa 79), Saul; Torres (Carrasco 57), Griezmann

Referee: Makkelie (NED)

Football Italia website