Thursday, 10th April, 2014

Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino admits that Atletico Madrid never allowed the Catalans to settle into their normal passing game throughout the course of the second leg of their quarter-final tie at the Vicente Calderon last night.

Koke scored the only goal of the night as Atletico Madrid sealed a 2-1 aggregate win over Barcelona and went through to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

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Martino admits that Atletico Madrid started the game well and never allowed the team from Catalonia to settle down in their usual passing rhythm.

"At the start the game went like Atletico like it, they were playing direct and winning the second balls. It wasn't that we lacked intensity, but we couldn't put four or five passes together", the Argentine told FIFA’s official website.


The 51-year-old thinks that Barcelona created a few chances to score but their failure to exert control over the proceedings cost them the match and the tie.

"We expected to have more control of the ball to avoid their pressing, but we didn't manage to do that. There was a big difference between the sides in the first 20 minutes, but after that both sides had their chances."

Atletico Madrid’s best performance in the European Cup came in the 1973/74 season when they qualified for the final in Brussels at the Heysel Stadium. They were beaten by Bayern Munich 4-0 in the replay after the first match finished on a 1-1 draw.

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