There was no letdown this time
Atletico Madrid are back in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
A year after a disappointing elimination in the group stage of the tournament, Atletico secured their spot in the next round by defeating Monaco 2-0 on Wednesday.
An early own goal from Benoit Badiashile and Antoine Griezmann’s first-half finish were enough for Atletico, which had made it to the knockout phase for four straight years before last season’s setback.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias, Savic, Lucas, Filipe Luis; Koke (Vitolo 46), Rodrigo, Thomas, Lemar (Kalinic 63); Griezmann, Correa (Saul 69)
Subs not used: Adan, Martins, Moya, Munoz
Goals: B Badiashile (OG) 2, Griezmann 24
Yellow cards: Filipe Luis, Thomas, Griezmann
Red cards: Savic
Monaco (5-3-2): Benaglio; Biancone, Raggi, Jemerson, B Badiashile, Chadli (Diop 63); Golovin (Thuram-Ulien 63), Tielemans, Massengo; Grandsir, Sylla (Falcao 55)
Subs not used: Ait Bennasser, L Badiashile, Gouano, Henrichs
Yellow cards: Tielemans, Biancone.
Monaco had arrived with no chance of qualfying and they missed a late penalty as former Atletico forward Radamel Falcao shot wide.
Atletico have been one of the most successful clubs in Europe in recent years, making it to the Champions League final in 2014 and 2016, and winning the Europa league last season.
They didn’t waste time making sure there was no surprise elimination this time, taking the lead two minutes into the match at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The opener, which came courtesy of a deflection that fooled Monaco goalkeeper Diego Benaglio, was Atletico’s fastest Champions League goal.