Club draw 0-0 with Atlético Madrid
Club Brugge leave the Champions League group stage with a 0-0 draw at home against Atlético Madrid. For a long time it was a well-matched fixture with few clear-cut chances, but fifteen minutes before the end substitute Luan Perés missed the best chance of the game. The blue and black bow out of the Champions League with six points and enter the Europa League.
Ivan Leko made one change to the side that had faced Waasland-Beveren last Friday as eighteen-year-old Loïs Openda was surprisingly given the nod. Sofyan Amrabat played on the right-hand side, forcing Saulo Decarli on the bench. Cyril Ngonge, just eighteen as well, kept his position on the left wing.
The Spaniards grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, mainly over the left-hand side via the industrious Saúl Ñíguez. First Gelson Martins failed to convert his cross, later he feeded Thomas Partey who fired straight into the hands of Horvath.
The blue and black struggled with the high-tempo start of the visitors, but restored the balance a bit after fifteen minutes play. Club even created some chances through Openda who headed towards goals, a shot by Denswil and a dangerous cross by Amrabat.
Halfway the first half Club had a decent chance when Stefano Denswil's free-kick at the edge of the area was parried away nicely by goalkeeper Oblak. Atlético responded immediately when Antoine Griezmann curled his effort towards the top corner, but Horvath was equal to the effort. Great save by the American!
There was nothing to seaerate the sides at the interval.
It remained an intense and closed game in the second half. Club focussed on the counter-attack while Diego Simeone proved that his Atlético is one of the teams with the best defence in the world. The result: few chances on both sides. Club played well-organized and even Griezmann couldn't get a clear shot at goal, apart from his curling effort in the first half.
The best chance of the game was even for Club Brugge when Ruud Vormer picked out Luan Perés with a brilliant cross, but goalkeeper Oblak saved miraculously. The visitors reacted swiftly twice but Godín's header was cleared by Vormer and Koke's long-distance low strike sailed wide.
In the closing minutes Club tried to snatch the win but Oblak saved Vormer's attempt and the Slovanian goalkeeper did well to collect Schrijvers' cross before Wesley could head in.
It remained goalless at Jan Breydel which means Club bow out of the Champions League with six points. On Monday Club Brugge will know who to face in the 1/16th finals of the Europa League after the draw.
Champions League: Groep A – Fixture 6
Attendance: 26.215 – Jan Breydelstadion
Referee: Davide Massa (Ita)
Club Brugge: Ethan Horvath – Sofyan Amrabat, Benoît Poulain, Brandon Mechele, Stefano Denswil – Ruud Vormer, Marvelous Nakamba, Hans Vanaken (91’ Mats Rits), Cyril Ngonge (69’ Luan Peres) – Wesley Moraes, Loïs Openda (74’ Siebe Schrijvers). Bank: Karlo Letica, Matej Mitrović, Saulo Decarli en Noah Fadiga. Coach: Ivan Leko.
Atlético Madrid: Jan Oblak – Santiago Arias, Diego Godín, Francisco Montero, Saúl Ñíguez – Koke, Thomas Partey (68’ Nikola Kalinic), Rodrigo Hernández, Thomas Lemar (60’ Vitolo) – Antoine Griezmann, Gelson Martins (60’ Angel Correa). Coach: Diego Simeone.
Yellow cards: Montero, Saúl, Denswil, Godín, Amrabat.
Red cards: none
Report - Steven Floin