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Atletico Madrid Move Into Semi

Atletico Madrid came from a goal behind to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in their second leg Cop de Rey quarterfinal match at the San Mames stadium on Wednesday night and seal their place in the semifinal of the cup competition.

The first leg quarterfinal match a week ago ended 1-0 in favour of Madrid which meant the aggregate score over the two legs was 3-1.

It was a positive start from Madrid who created a chance on goal as early as the third minute when Diego Costa was slipped through on goal and left with just the keeper to beat, but Iago Herrerin was quick off his line to smother the attacker.

Madrid continued to dominate the match after that until Filipe Luis had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Emiliano Insua in the 13th minute.

The loss of Luis really effected Madrid’s play-making ability and Bilbao began to take the ascendancy.

Madrid’s defence, though, looked to be holding firm for the most part with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois exceptional between the sticks for the away side.

In the 33rd minute Bilbao created their first real opening as Iker Muniain let loose with a low shot from the edge of the box, but he saw his effort well-saved by the keeper.

Two minutes later and Mikel Rico did brilliantly for Bilbao as he shrugged off a couple of challenges on his way into the box, but he curled his 16-yard shot narrowly wide of the target.

Finally, in the 41st minute Bilbao made their pressure tell when Aritz Aduriz headed home a Mikel Balenziaga cross, 1-0, (1-1 on aggregate).

Two minutes later, a massive double save from Courtois saw his side enter the half time break only a goal down.

First, the keeper produced a great stop to deny Andoni Iraola from the edge of the box; Courtois was then quick to his feet to save Aritz Aduriz’s rebound attempt.

The start of the second 45 saw Madrid playing much better football as they began to dictate terms.

In the 55th minute they made their second half pressure tell when Raul Garcia levelled matters on the night, volleying home a pass from Cristian Rodríguez at the back post, 1-1 (2-1 on aggregate).

Bilbao were not put off by conceding the goal and mounted a chance of their own four minutes later when Markel Susaeta saw an attempt cleared off the goalline by Insua.

In the 71st minute Bilbao were on the attack again when Ander Herrera unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the box, but Courtois produced another wonderful save on the night.

Bilbao threw men forward in the final 15 minutes as they went in search of a goal, but in doing so left themselves exposed at the back.

Diego Costa took advantage of that and put the result beyond doubt when he broke behind the Bilbao defence in the 86th minute, running 40-yards before slotting past the keeper, 2-1 (3-1 on aggregate).

The result on the night means that Madrid move into the semifinal of the cup competition, 3-1 on aggregate over the two legged quarterfinal.

Are Atletico Madrid Genuine Champions League Contenders?


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