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Champions League semis: Where Atletico got it wrong

Last updated on: April 23, 2014 11:10 IST

'We couldn't find the goal that would have won the match'

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Atletico Madrid failed to make the most of the home advantage in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea at the Vincente Calderon Stadium on Tuesday. The match ended in a goalless draw and this gives Chelsea an upper hand before next week's second leg tie.

Here we look at where Atletico went wrong on Tuesday.

Chelsea have the upper hand ahead of next week's Champions League semi-final, second leg after holding Atletico Madrid to a frustrating 0-0 draw in Tuesday's first leg.

La Liga leaders Atletico dominated the ultra-defensive Chelsea at the Vicente Calderon but failed to find a goal and face a stiff task in the return in London next Wednesday.

"It was a difficult game, tough, typical of a semi-final, in which neither side was able to grab the advantage," Simeone told a news conference.

"We each approached the game in different ways but we couldn't find the goal that would have won the match," added the Argentine, who has transformed Atletico into a genuine force in Spain and Europe since taking over at the end of 2011.

"Each person chooses the best strategy according to the players he has. In the end, he (Mourinho) got a good result.


Image: Diego Costa of Atletico de Madrid reacts after failing to score against Chelsea on Tuesday
Photographs: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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'Atletico dominated more but despite our problems we came away with this result'

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"At their stadium, with their fans and their atmosphere, they will feel more comfortable but we will fight with humility."

But Mourinho was unapologetic about his team's cautious tactics.

The Portuguese is in the Champions League semi-finals for the fifth year in a row after appearances with Inter Milan in 2010, when they won the title, and Real in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

"It was a match for men, hard-fought, tactical, balanced," he told Spanish television.

"Atletico dominated more but despite the problems we had we came away with this result in what was the match of their lives.

"Now there is another game and it is at StamfordBridge. It is not an incredible result but I knew it was not going to be easy to avoid defeat and we managed it."


Image: Chelsea's Frank Lampard (left) challenges Atletico Madrid's Mario Suarez during their Champions League semi-final first leg match at Vicente Celderon Stadium on Tuesday
Photographs: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

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Mourinho keeps his cards close to his chest

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Chelsea will be without goalkeeper Petr Cech and captain John Terry in London, who were injured on Tuesday, as well as suspended midfielders Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel.

However, fullback Branislav Ivanovic, who missed Tuesday's match through suspension, should be available and Mourinho said he had every confidence in stand-in keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Asked if he planned to use more attacking tactics in the return, Mourinho added: "It's a good question but I am not going to answer."


Image: Jose Mourinho
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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