Antoine Griezmann broke Rostov hearts as his last-gasp winner secured Atletico Madrid a 2-1 win and qualified them for the Champions League last 16.
Atleti were three players different from Saturday’s 4-2 win against Malaga as Sime Vrsaljko and Fernando Torres entered the fray, while Koke returned from his one-game absence.
Just like the reverse fixture, Atleti took the game to Rostov, seeing two-thirds of the ball and cracking 20 attempts at Soslan Dzhanaev’s goal, but were frustrated time and time again.
Diego Simeone’s men did not break the deadlock until the 28th minute, but it was worth the wait as Griezmann executed the deftest of finishes to flick a ball over the top first time past the Russians’ goalkeeper.
The goal was Griezmann’s first in four games, but the euphoria was short-lived as Sardar Azmoun equalised just two minutes later. The Iranian prodigy sprang Atleti’s offside trap, before precisely tucking the ball away.
It made for a tense hour of play at the Vicente Calderon, with Simeone going as far as to sacrifice Yannick Carrasco in the latter stages, despite the winger’s recent purple patch.
Nonetheless, Griezmann came up with the goods right at the death, lobbing Dzhanaev from point-blank range. The Frenchman was in an offside position, yet he received the ball from a Rostov head.
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Rostov
Griezmann 28, 90 (AM) Azmoun 30 (R)
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savic, Godin, Filipe; Gabi, Koke, Saul (Gameiro 58), Carrasco (Correa 79); Griezmann, Torres
Rostov: Dzhanaev; Kalachev (Terentjev 73), Mevlja, Navas, Granat, Kudryashov; Noboa, Erokhin (Prepelita 45), Gatcan; Azmoun (Doumbia 70), Poloz
Referee: Thomson (SCO)