Club Brugge 0-0 Atletico Madrid: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Los Colchoneros Stutter in Belgium | SI.com
Atletico Madrid rounded off their Champions League group stage campaign with a goalless draw against Club Brugge on Tuesday evening.
As Borussia Dortmund won their match against Monaco, Atletico have to settle for second place in Group A behind the Bundesliga outfit.
The first half ticked by with very little to shout about for either side. Thomas Partey and Antoine Griezmann had the most notable chances of the opening 45 minutes, but they both saw their shots saved by Brugge’s American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.
Atletico were just as uninspiring in the second half and they very nearly fell behind with 15 minutes left on the clock. Jan Oblak was forced into action for the first time on the night, producing a stunning close range save to deny Luan Peres.
Both sets of forwards tried in vein to find a breakthrough, but the points ended up being shared on what proved to a very disappointing night for Atletico.
Check out the breakdown of the evening’s events below.
After last season’s embarrassing early exit in the Champions League, it was absolutely imperative that Atletico reached the knockout stages this time around and, luckily enough, they had already done so prior to this game.
The fact that they had already secured their spot in the last 16 ended up hurting them more than anything. There was a clear lack of invention in the final third and on too many occasions they were outfought by a resolute Brugge side who had nothing to lose.
After Borussia Dortmund won their match in Monaco, Atletico had to settle for second place in Group A, which will be tough to take for Diego Simeone. This result may come back to haunt them when the draw for the knockout rounds takes place.
Starting XI: Oblak (6); Arias (6), Godin (6), Montero (5), Saul (6); Koke (6), Thomas (5), Rodrigo (6), Lemar (4); Gelson (4), Griezmann (6).
Substitutes: Vitolo (5), Correa (6), Kalinic (5).
Star Man – Jan Oblak
No one stood out from an Atletico perspective, but Oblak deserves a special mention for producing the best moment of the match with a remarkable save towards the end of the game.
The Slovenian keeper had very little to do all evening, so to produce a save of that quality out of seemingly nowhere is testament to his ability. It’s a shame that it ended up counting for little in the grand scheme of things, but it at least helped him to preserve a clean sheet.
Jan Oblak. What an insane save. Sublime— Gianni Verschueren (@ReverschPass)
Oblak is truly fantastic. That was a certain goal for Brugges and he’s pulled out a miraculous save.
Makes himself so big, which makes it so difficult for strikers. He amazes us game after game.
JAN OBLAK IS THE SINGLE GREATEST KEEPER ON EARTH— AtléticoFans (@AtleticoFans)
Worst Player – Gelson Martins
Martins was given the nod to start up top with Griezmann and, unfortunately enough for the Portuguese, he had little to no effect on the game.
In fairness he was provided with very little support at the top end of the pitch, but on the rare occasion he did find himself in a threatening position, he wasn’t able to fashion anything of note.
With qualification to the knockout rounds of the Champions League secured, Atletico can concentrate on their domestic campaign until February. Their next match is a La Liga tie against Real Valladolid on Saturday.
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