Leicester City will face another tough return to King Power Stadium against Spanish opposition, with a single goal from Antoine Griezmann gave Atlético Madrid a narrow 1-0 advantage in their Champions League quarter-final.
Diego Simeone’s side pretty much dominated the first period with Koke having two great chances at both the beginning and end of the first period, but a controversial penalty from Griezmann just before the half hour mark was the difference at the break.
The second half was a very sheltered showing from both sides, with the only highlights been Riyad Mahrez’s penalty appeal and Fernando Torres’ comic slip but the Spaniards held out to take the one-goal advantage to the Midlands.
Coming straight out of the traps
Leicester City were looking to make history once again in their first European quarter-final, but faced a tough test against nine-time quarter-finalists Atlético and they showed their experience throughout the first period.
The hosts came within inches of finding a lead inside four minutes, when Griezmann played it off to Koke on the edge of the area. The Spaniard did well to take it back onto his right foot and let rip, the shot looked to have Kasper Schmeichel beaten but it cannoned back off the post.
The home side weren’t looking to slow down with the Vicente Calderón behind them, and came close again moments later. The danger looked to have gone from Filipe Luís' cross been headed up by Robert Huth, but that looked to fall perfectly for Yannick Carrasco but he hacked it just wide of the near post.
Taking the lead in controversial circumstances
Griezmann had been causing problems throughout the period, and the talismanic Frenchman was given his golden opportunity in somewhat controversial circumstances in the 28th penalty.
It was poor defending from the Foxes as they were allowed to break with Griezmann’s exploding run from his own area, he made it all the way to the edge of the opposition box before been brought down by Marc Albrighton.
At second glance it did look to be outside the area but Jonas Eriksson stood firm, Griezmann has had a poor record with spot kicks in the last year but made no mistake as he sent Schmeichel the wrong way.
Koke decided to have one more go before the break, as he tried one from around the same area in the 36th minute but it didn’t have similar success as it whizzed past the post.
Shutting the game down
Before this clash due to both sides having very similar styles and formations, it was expected that these two sides would cancel each other out and that was certainly prominent throughout the second period.
Craig Shakespeare’s side were looking for a penalty of their own bang on the hour mark, as Mahrez did well to cut inside and went to the turf under Gabi’s presence. Despite the Algerian’s protests Eriksson stood firm, and with the benefit of a second glance it looked like the winger had made a meal of it.
Torres had an excellent chance just moments later, the Spaniards had chances hard to come by after the Griezmann penalty and it looked golden for the striker as he got the ball out of his feet. It looked certain for the bottom corner, but he managed to slip as he shaped his foot and the chance went begging.