Atlético collides with the Dortmund wall and is eliminated in the Champions League quarterfinals

Borussia responded in the second half to the ephemeral mattress reaction (4-2)


Atlético de Madrid was eliminated this Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the 2023/24 Champions League due to its 4-2 defeat on its visit to Borussia Dortmund, which overturned the 2-1 lead in the first leg at the Cívitas Metropolitano after having responded, thanks to Marcel Sabitzer, to the ephemeral mattress reaction of the second half.

In the packed Signal Iduna Park, the duel began at a dizzying pace. Before reaching minute 3, César Azpilicueta justified his ownership by saving the 1-0 lead. After a robbery by Emre Can in their own half, Dortmund mounted a counterattack with Julian Brandt opening on the left wing.

That’s why Karim Adeyemi ran faster than Nahuel Molina, stepped into the rival area and crossed low to the penalty spot, where Marcel Sabitzer placed the ball with his right hand and shot with his left foot; Jan Oblak was defeated when a providential Azpilicueta appeared to stretch and block.

Atlético responded immediately, with a long ball from Axel Witsel that Antoine Griezmann combed and enabled Álvaro Morata to leave at speed, almost alone, towards the goal defended by Gregor Kobel. Colchonero’s number 19, faced with the quick exit of the goalkeeper at his feet, chipped the ball without skill and sent his shot wide.

The visiting team tried again in the 7th minute, thanks to a shot by Rodrigo De Paul from the edge of the area, after a pass from Molina and which was saved by Kobel at mid-height. The pace continued high, as Brandt demonstrated in another run down the left side until he crossed without luck at ground level.

After a quarter of an hour, Brandt put Oblak in trouble with a right hand and, almost immediately afterwards, Adeyemi also bothered the Slovenian goalkeeper with a right volley. Possession of the ball clearly favored Edin Terzic’s men, calmly until another chance was created in the 27th minute thanks to Jadon Sancho on the left wing.

His assist in the heart of the area did not find teammates, but Dortmund soon recovered the ball and Sabitzer executed a right foot from distance, which went over the crossbar. It was the prelude to the first ‘borusser’ goal, the work of Brandt in the 34th minute after two errors chained by Molina in his right lane.

First he saved a ball from going out the sideline and gave it to the local team, who mounted an attack from high up. Center back Mats Hummels, in three-quarter line, saw Brandt get into a gap between Molina himself and Witsel, and assisted him with a nice three-finger kick.

Brandt tamed the ball, positioned himself and shot low with his left foot, beating Oblak who unsuccessfully tried to deflect with his leg. Just five minutes later, the German team made it 2-0 following another error by Molina. Without intensity and lost in his marking, the Argentine full-back did not escape from Ian Maatsen who found a way to enter the area.

The ‘Borusser’ winger sprinted, received a timely backheel from Sabitzer and scored with a low left foot shot to the far post. Diego Pablo Simeone’s pupils suffered a ‘déjà vu’ of what happened on February 29 at the San Mamés Stadium, where a horrible version of defense cost them a thrashing and being eliminated in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

The colchoneros needed to reach the break and ‘Cholo’ Simeone took advantage of it to make three substitutions. Pablo Barrios and Rodrigo Riquelme relieved the wingers and Ángel Correa replaced a discreet Morata up front. And Correa precisely shook up the game with two arrivals at the Kobel area, one on each wing, which preceded the 2-1 score.

In a corner taken at the far post, Mario Hermoso rose higher than anyone else and headed towards the goal; Hummels put his foot in the path of the ball, touched it, changed its route and, inadvertently, beat his goalkeeper. An own goal that encouraged Atlético to seek the tie, first with a high right hand from De Paul and then with a very clear opportunity from Correa.

Koke Resurrección, with more oxygen in the midfield thanks to the brio of Riquelme, filtered a pass for the Colchonero ’10’ to sneak behind the Teutonic defense and stand in front of Kobel, as Morata had done in the first half. He wanted to adjust his shot so much that Correa failed, but he did not let up and found reward for his insistence in the 64th minute.

A cross reached his boots on the right side of the red area, he advanced meters and crossed to the opposite side for the arrival of Riquelme, whose shot was repelled by Kobel; Correa was attentive to the rebound, he finished the first time, was blocked and, yes, on the second volley he made it 2-2.

Terzic then reacted by withdrawing Adeyemi to trust Bynoe-Gittens, and there the score was 3-2 in the 71st minute. Brandt connected with Sabitzer, who crossed to the penalty spot and Füllkrug jumped more than Giménez to head expertly almost into the far corner. And in a flash, Dortmund scored 4-2 (min.74) thanks to an omnipresent Sabitzer.

In an assist that was looking for Füllkrug, Giménez cleared it by throwing himself to the ground and that created a gap in the mattress defense. Sabitzer picked up the ball at the top of the area, outlined his left foot shot and with a sharp shot he scored the goal against the post after overcoming several legs.

Desperately, Atlético looked for another comeback, but this time without the necessary effort, and was close to paying even more dearly. Oblak prevented Germany’s fifth goal on two occasions, a point-blank shot by Füllkrug and later a left-footed strike from Sabitzer from outside the area.

Saúl Ñíguez took the field in the final stretch, but Simeone had no alternative plans to prevent another debacle in the top continental tournament. The back-and-forth that occurred in stoppage time, with several substitutions made by Terzic, ended up settling the match and the red and white’s hopes of progressing to the semifinals in this Champions League.




BORUSSIA DORTMUND: Kobel; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Sabitzer, Can; Adeyemi (Bynoe-Gittens, min.66), Brandt (Reus, min.90), Sancho (Özcan, min.86); y filling jug.

ATLÉTICO DE MADRID: Oblak; Molina (Barrios, min.46), Giménez, Witsel, Hermoso, Azpilicueta (Riquelme, min.46); Llorente, Koke, De Paul (Saúl, min.84); Griezmann and Morata (Correa, min.46).


1-0, min.34: Brandt.

2-0, min.39: Maatsen.

2-1, min.49: Hummels (pp).

2-2, min.64: Strap.

3-2, min.71: Filling jug.

4-2: min.74: Sabitzer.

–REFEREE: Slavko Vincic (ESV). He yellow carded Ryerson (min.43) for Borussia Dortmund, and Azpilicueta (min.30) and Hermoso (min.45 + 1) for Atlético de Madrid.

–STADIUM: Signal Iduna Park, 81,365 spectators.