Griezmann strikes late
> French forward grabs winner as Atletico advance
STAFF blamed burned chips after Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium was evacuated before yesterday’s Champions League win over Barcelona.
EVERTON STOKE’S CHELSEA’S
ANTOINE GRIEZMANN scored a 93rdminute winner as Atletico Madrid secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League yesterday with a hardfought 2-1 victory over FC Rostov at the Vicente Calderon.
Griezmann’s brilliant volleyed effort gave Atletico the lead just before the half-hour mark, but Rostov immediately replied through Sardar Azmoun.
Atletico struggled to create chances throughout, but got a break deep into added time when Griezmann fired home and the goal was allowed to stand despite Rostov’s furious protests for offside.
Victory keeps Atletico three points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of Group D.
The Germans also qualified for the knockout phase yesterday with a 2-1 win at PSV Eindhoven.
Atletico had scored 18 goals in winning their last five home games, but laboured against the Russians’ deep-lying defence.
The on-form Yannick Carrasco found some rare space in behind the Rostov back line 18 minutes in from Griezmann’s fine through ball, but Soslan Dzhanaev rushed from his line to block the Belgian’s effort.
Griezmann opened the scoring in spectacular fashion as he spun onto a deflected effort to flick the ball into the top corner with the outside of his left foot.
However, the lead lasted just two minutes as Atletico were caught by a brilliant Rostov counter-attack when Dmitri Poloz timed his pass into Azmoun to perfection and the Iranian slotted low past Jan Oblak.
It was the first time Atletico had conceded in the Champions League this season and Rostov became only the second away team to score at the Calderon in the last 15 European games.
The hosts dominated from then on, but lacked the creativity or physical presence up front to break down the Rostov wall of defenders.
Dzhanaev comfortably smothered low shots from Koke and Carrasco, while Atletico coach Diego Simeone ended the game with four forwards on the pitch as Kevin Gameiro and Angel Correa joined Griezmann and a forlorn Fernando Torres.
However, last season’s finalists needed the presence of central defender Diego Godin when the winner did arrive in controversial circumstances deep into injury time.
Griezmann barely celebrated as he converted what appeared to be Godin’s flickon off the underside of the bar.
Yet, despite the offside flag being raised, Scottish referee Craig Thomson rightly identified the flick-on in fact came off a Rostov player, meaning Griezmann couldn’t be in an offside position. – AFP
will widen the segregation between home and away fans at London Stadium on Saturday, when they host Stoke City, in a bid to prevent further crowd trouble.
winger Yannick Bolasie says he and striker Romelu Lukaku speak in Lingala, a language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so opposition players cannot understand what they say.
have been scouting Palmeiras’ 22-year-old defender Yerry Mina, but Barcelona have first option on the Colombian. Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann (C) heads past Rostov’s defender Denis Terentyev (L) and Andrei Prepelita during their UEFA Champions League Group D match at the Vicente Calderon stadium yesterday. –