Atleti held in Eindhoven

PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid played out a cagey goalless draw in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg.

Gaston Pereiro was dismissed just past the hour for his second yellow inside 15 minutes but thereafter PSV’s defending was dogged and Atleti’s attacking a little lacking in inspiration.

Diego Simeone plumped for Stefan Savic over Jose Gimenez to partner Diego Godin, while PSV were without captain Luuk de Jong through suspension, ex-Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia midfielder Andres Guardado taking the armband.

Atletico had some joy with balls over the top in the early going, one from Gabi releasing Luciano Vietto, only for Jeffrey Bruma to clear off the line.

The visitors perhaps got lucky at the other end when Gabi and Jurgen Locadia collided knee-to-knee, referee Daniele Orsato perhaps feeling Locadio’s theatrical fall didn’t warrant a penalty.

Koke tried to lob Jeroen Zoet as Atleti continued to make use of the ball dropped in behind the PSV defence, and the PSV defence continued to be beaten by it.

Savic picked up a booking mid-way through the half after he was adjudged to have fouled Locadio in stopping a PSV break, despite getting a clean touch on the ball.

PSV continued to be troubled by their high defensive line and had Zoet to thank again when Griezmann burst through a ramshackle defence, and at the other end Jan Oblak was tested by Davey Propper, with a few Atleti blocks in there for good measure.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, though Atleti were looking to put more crosses into the penalty area than in the first 45.

It was Koke who caused Oblak the greatest concern to that point when, just before the hour, he nearly steered Jetero Willems’ cross beyond his own goalkeeper, but it darted out for a corner.

Godin headed a corner into the back of the net just past the hour mark but Orsato found against the Uruguayan for climbing on Hector Moreno, latterly of Espanyol.

The centre-back was involved again as Pereiro was sent off for a flailing arm when challenging for a header, and shortly after Gabi drew a save from Zoet and Fernando Torres fired over.

Atleti’s extra man and some attacking changes saw the game become a one-way affair but determined defending, notably from Bruma, prevented Atleti truly capitalising.

Maxime Lestienne’s far post volley nearly gave PSV a late lead against the odds but not even Godin as an auxiliary striker could give Atleti an away goal.

PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Pereiro s/o 68

PSV Eindhoven: Zoet; Arias, Bruma, Moreno, Willems; Guardado (Hendrix 74), Propper, Van Ginkel; Narsingh (Isimat-Marin 65), Pereiro, Locadia (Lestienne 86)

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Godin, Savic, Filipe; Gabi, Saul (Correa 74), Koke, Oliver; Griezmann, Vietto (Torres 61)

Referee: Orsato [ITA]

Tags PSV Eindhoven
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