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Man City fends off Atlético, reaches Champions League semis 

Atlético is now winless in its last seven Champions League games at home, while City is unbeaten in its last 13 away games in all competitions, with 10 wins.

Published: 14th April 2022 09:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2022 09:46 AM   |  A+A-

Manchester City's players celebrate after the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City. (Photo | AP)

Manchester City's players celebrate after the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

MADRID: Manchester City held Atlético Madrid to a 0-0 draw to return to the Champions League semifinals and keep alive its hopes of winning Europe's top club competition for the first time. City advanced thanks to its 1-0 win in the first leg last week.

In the end, it was Pep Guardiola getting the best of Diego Simeone in the battle of styles between City's offensive-minded tactics and Atlético's more cautious approach.

Atlético's attack struggled to find the net again and the Spanish club managed only three attempts on target after having none in the first leg. 

The hosts played the final minutes a man down after defender Felipe was sent off for kicking an opponent. The benches had been cleared a few moments earlier as Atlético's players appeared upset with City's attempt to waste time.

The match ended with more than 12 minutes of stoppage time and Atlético had a couple of goods chances to break the deadlock but couldn't capitalize on them.

Runner-up last year, City will next face Real Madrid, which eliminated defending champion Chelsea on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

In the other quarterfinal on Wednesday, Liverpool advanced past Benfica to set up a semifinal against Villarreal, the modest Spanish club that eliminated Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Atlético was able to have the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium at full capacity after the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday accepted the club's appeal to overturn UEFA's closure of a 5,000-seat section as punishment for a fan's Nazi salute in the first leg in England. The club was trying to reach the semifinals for the first time in five years.

Atlético is now winless in its last seven Champions League games at home, while City is unbeaten in its last 13 away games in all competitions, with 10 wins.

Playing in its 100th Champions League game from the group stage to the final, City controlled possession early on and kept Atlético from creating any significant threat.

Criticized for playing overly defensively in the first leg, Atlético tried to press forward more often at the Metropolitano and ended with more total attempts than City. But Atlético's top forwards, including starters Antoine Griezmann and João Félix, failed to score again, as did veteran Luis Suárez after coming off the bench near the end. Atlético has been held scoreless in its last three matches in all competitions, with only four total shots on target.

Griezmann nearly found the net with a volley from outside the area in the 57th, Rodrigo De Paul's shot just missed wide in the 70th and substitute Matheus Cunha came close in the 86th when his close-range shot was blocked in front of the goal.

City had one of its best chances when Ilkay Gundogan hit the post from close range in the 30th. The English side has kept seven clean sheets in its last eight away games in all competitions.



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