ATLETI 2 (3) - 1 (2) INTER

Off to the quarter-finals!

Following a nail-biting penalty shoot-out triumph over Inter that ended the match trailing 2-1 at full-time, our side are through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals

 After defeating Inter, Atletico Madrid book their spot in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Atleti got off to an intense kick off as they took on their opponents at home, boosted by their fans who brought the atmosphere of the best football nights. The Rojiblancos were the early dominant in possession and created the first threats to their opponents' goal. Lino struck first with a powerful cross-shot that was cleared off the line by Inter's goalkeeper Sommer. But the Italians replied on the counter-attack and Atleti called upon Oblak, who kept his side's goal unblemished with a double save. As things progressed, the home side had the upper hand, and the Italian side were again in trouble as Morata headed in after Hermoso's cross, again forcing Sommer to step up and defend the goal. The team's superiority was translated into efforts towards goal, but it was Inter who opened the scoring through Dimarco's shot from inside the box, firing past Oblak to make it 1-0. The crowd's response was impressive despite being behind. It took Griezmann just three minutes to fire home, seizing on a rebound from the Nerazzurri backline, with a superb finish that had Sommer on his back foot. The Frenchman's equaliser tied the game at 1-1 before the interval, leaving everything to be settled in the second half.

The second half started with a stronger and more intense attitude from Atleti compared to the visitors. Griezmann came up against the Inter goalkeeper when half the stadium was already chanting for a goal, as our number 7 finished off a through ball that he received from behind in the race... As the minutes ticked by, the game was level. As Atleti gained more and more possession, the chances gradually faded away. Yet, with the changes in the last quarter, the game picked up the momentum and the danger generated by both sides. Thuram, left unmarked in front of Oblak in the 76th minute, wasted the opportunity when he fired the ball over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Memphis turned the game on its head. The Dutch striker was instrumental: he came on and almost found the net with the first chance he had, but the ball was left in behind him. On the next chance, he crashed the ball into the woodwork from the edge of the box. And in the third chance, he received an extraordinary through ball from Koke, controlled it towards goal and sent a low, thunderous shot to score the second, leading his team into extra time. The team even had a chance to qualify before extra time, but Riquelme was only inches away from the goal with a high strike just a few moments before the final whistle.

As for the extra time, it was marked by tension, with both sides seeking to avoid any risks. This reduced the number of chances significantly, though our boys could easily have scored the third through Memphis, but for Sommer's save on the line. And that was the highlight of a first half of extra time with interruptions galore. Meanwhile, the second period proved to be a real monologue in the visitors' favour. The 'Nerazzurri' gained possession, but their fatigue hindered them from carving out chances of real threat. In the end, penalties settled the game at the Cívitas Metropolitano. The remaining quarter-finalist for next Friday's draw was to be decided by a penalty shootout. The team that made the fewest mistakes was going to be one of the best eight clubs in Europe. And it was Atleti who made the fewest mistakes: Oblak saved Alexis Sánchez's second kick, as well as Klassen's third, guaranteeing our spot in the next round after Lautaro Martínez's error.

Emotion and drama, only to celebrate with jubilation at the end. Atlético Madrid will contest the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League following their victory over Inter. Next Friday we will find out the next round's rival.