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Champions League: Atletico Put 4 Goals Past Leverkusen

Atletico Madrid Champions League
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: Players of Atletico Madrid celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany on February 21, 2017. (Photo by Leon Kuegeler/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid went some way to securing their place in the final eight of the UEFA Champions League with a comprehensive 4-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the BayArena.

The visitors from the Spanish capital completed a crucial victory on the road as goals from Saul Niguez, Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro and Fernando Torres sealed the deal against a resilient Leverkusen.

Leverkusen started brightly, while Atletico looked to hit them on the break, and in the opening 10 minutes both had chances. But in the 17th minute, the away side pounced to a bright start on the road as Saul Niguez broke the deadlock with a gorgeous, curling effort from the right edge of the box into the far post corner 17 minutes into the game.

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The Germans were shocked and suffered another setback as Aleksandar Dragovic‘s clearance went in the wrong direction allowing Kevin Gameiro to set up the ball for Antoine Griezmann, who slotted home the square pass into the roof of the net eight minutes later.

Diego Simeone’s men remained dangerous and should have added anther goal to their lead but Griezmann failed to overcome onrushing Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno in a one-on-one in the 34th minute.

The hosts recovered after the restart and reduced the arrears three minutes into the second half when Karim Bellarabi turned home a low shot into the far post corner.

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Atletico remained unfazed, and were able to restore their two-goal lead after Dragovic fouled Gameiro inside the box to win a penalty. The striker stepped up and overcame Leno from the spot in the 59th minute.

Roger Schmidt’s team kept it bowling and reduced the deficit to one single goal as Stefan Savic deflected Julian Brandt‘s low cross into the wrong goal at 68 minutes of play.

Leverkusen pressed frenetically for the equalizer but the Colchoneros extended their lead to put the game beyond doubt as substitute Fernando Torres headed home a cross from Sime Vrsaljk with just four minutes to go until the final whistle.

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“Leverkusen fought their way back into the game in the second half, but overall it’s a very satisfying evening for us,”

‘We could even have won by a higher margin but their goalkeeper pulled off two outstanding saves to deny (Antoine) Griezmann,’ said Simeone. ‘It is important to have belief when you play away from home, and I thought we had that in abundance.

With the result, the Werkself will travel to Madrid trying to overturn a 4-2 loss in the second leg on March 15.

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