Atletico Madrid beat Benfica 2-1 on Tuesday night at Estadio da Luz, meaning they progress to the Uefa Champions League knockout stages as Group C leaders. The visitors kicked off, but Benfica saw all of the ball at the start putting Atletico on the back foot early on. Despite the numerous attempts at goal by the home side, they could not land the final blow, purely due to the dogged defence.
However, the men in red’s game came undone in the midfield, where the men in black were able to play the through-ball, and attack Julio Cesar’s territory. Atleti took the lead in the 33rd minute after Antoine Griezmann threaded the ball in, played it forward to Luciano Vietto who popped the ball left which saw Saul Niguez tapping it in. The score at half-time stood at 1-0 to the Spanish side.
Rui Vitoria’s men opened the second stanza and the energy from both teams intensified, as in the first five minutes, each had a shot at goal. Diego Simeone’s men extended the lead in the 55th minute after Yannick Ferreria-Carrasco crossed from the left, to Vietto who slid into the box to slice the ball into the back of the net. The Eagles were under pressure from the Red-and-Whites, as they struggled to hold onto the ball in the second 45, and stayed in their own half.
The trailing XI managed to cut the lead when Kostas Mitroglou touched the ball in off the right post in the 75th minute, taking the score to 2-1. Benfica resuscitated the crowd after their goal, which seemed to energise them as well in the final 10 minutes of the match, but were not able to find the equaliser. Simeone’s side took the win 2-1, to win Group C to boot.