Griezmann’s brace ends Barca’s quest to repeat in UEFA Champions League

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Antoin Griezmann’s brace led Atletico Madrid to a surprising win over Barcelona in an extremely testy second leg between fierce La Liga rivals in the UEFA Champions League.

Atleti goes onto the UCL semifinals, ending Barca’s quest to be the first team to repeat as champions. The leg ended 2-0, and the tie 3-2.

Griezmann scored in the first half to give Atleti an edge on away goals, and then the Madrid side bunkered down against the reigning champs before adding a second close to stoppage time.

Barcelona is in the midst of a three-match losing streak.

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Off a pinpoint out-swinging cross from Saul, Griezmann put Atletico in control. The Frenchman directed a solid header past Marc-Andre ter Stegen. It was 2-2 on aggregate with an away goal to Atleti.

Diego Simeone’s defense was well-orchestrated to hold Barcelona, but time saw the visitors getting chances. Andres Iniesta sailed one right to Jan Oblak, and Barca started winning more corners.

Luis Suarez could’ve been sent off after elbowing Diego Godin, an effort that left the defender with a swollen eye fitting of a boxer. Just a yellow card was given to the Uruguayan.

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Atleti took a 2-0 lead in the leg through a Griezmann PK won when Iniesta cynically blocked a shot with his hand but was only shown yellow.

But Gabi handled a shot on the edge of the box, and was not shown his second yellow nor was Barca given a PK.

Messi and Neymar lorded over the ball, two minutes into stoppage time. A Barca goal would push the tie to stoppage time. Messi’s attempt went just past the goal.