Man City sealed their place in the Champions League quarter-finals after a nervy goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano was enough to secure a 1-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid.
The away team almost got off to a dream start when John Stones received a Kevin De Bruyne corner kick at the near post, but the England international could only head over the crossbar.
City were on the upswing, with Reinildo forced to block at the last moment from De Bruyne’s volley on the edge of the penalty area after Phil Foden’s shot had tantalizingly slotted into the Belgian’s pass.
Pep Guardiola’s team should have broken the tie in the 29th minute after a charming and sweeping move. Kyle Walker received a pass inside the box from Riyad Mahrez and when his backhand fell to Foden at the far post, the England international attacked Ilkay Gundogan. However, the German could only deflect his shot with his left foot just inside the post.
Atlético then created their first real chance of the night immediately after the restart. Antoine Griezmann was sent behind the City defense by a magnificent first pass from Koke and the Frenchman advanced towards goal, but Aymeric Laporte equalized step by step before deflecting the ball for a corner.
The locals were up, with Joao Félix finishing off a cross from Marcos Llorente but deflecting his header over the crossbar.
Griezmann fired wide on the half volley after being sacked by Felix just before the hour mark, with Simeone making a triple substitution as he hurled the kitchen sink into Guardiola’s side.
Rodrigo De Paul then almost made an instant impact off the bench. The impressive Felix moved the ball wide to Llorente on the right and when he moved the ball in, De Paul curved his shot just outside the near post.
City’s heart was in the mouth with four minutes to go when Ángel Correa let go from behind. The substitute steered him into the path of Matheus Cunha and only a heroic block from Stones denied the hosts a late draw.
Felipe was sent off in stoppage time after receiving his second yellow card as the hosts lost their cool in the tie.
Meanwhile, here’s how both teams qualified.
Jan Oblak (GK) – 6/10 – He had very little to deal with. He dominated his penalty area when necessary.
Stefan Savic (CB) – 7/10 – He got under Foden’s skin early in the first half, with the City man looking reluctant to engage in a one-on-one battle with the defender.
Philip (CB) – 2/10 – Booked within the first 25 minutes for a series of cynical fouls. Rightly so, he was shown a red card in stoppage time as he completely lost his composure.
Reinildo (CB) – 7/10 – He excelled when called on to defend in late-break situations, pulling off a crucial block from De Bruyne in the first half.
Marcos Llorente (RWB) – 7/10 – Simeone’s idea was to push the Spaniard forward in transition, but City arranged the flank terribly well.
Koke (CM) – 7/10 – Magnificent first half in depth to release Griezmann after the break. The influence grew in the second half as he dropped deeper to receive the ball.
Geoffrey Kondogbia (CM) – 7/10 – He showed the best of his qualities, helping to evade City’s press and sharing the game with Simeone’s men.
Tomas Lemar (CM) – 4/10 – Atleti saw their greatest danger when they were able to play through the Frenchman. He proved to be very effective in tight areas.
Renan Lodi (LWB) – 5/10 – Constantly the spare man on the back post for Atleti when he lunges forward, while keeping Mahrez fairly calm.
Joao Felix (ST) – 6/10 – He showed promising link-up play with Griezmann in the second half, showing off his quick feet in some attacking situations.
Antoine Griezmann (ST) – 2/10 – His opportunities to do damage on the ball were few and far between, but he helped quell City’s build-up down the left flank with his clever pressing.
Rodrigo DePaul (CM) – 6/10 – He had two separate sightings in goal late in the second half.
Angel Correa (ST) – 6/10 – Added energy up front for Atleti.
Yannick Carrasco (LWB) – N/A
Luis Suarez (ST) – N/A
Matheus Cunha (CM) – N/A
Ederson (GK) – 8/10 – Very skillful in leaving his line to suffocate Atleti’s direct passes from above. Two great saves to deny Simeone’s side in discount.
Kyle Walker (RB) – 7/10 – He picked his moments to gallop forward, making sure he stayed compact to prevent Atletico from exploiting the space in transition.
John Stones (CB) – 10/10 – He hardly gave the ball away on the night, never looking to force a pass given the aggregate score. Heroic block to deny the tie to Atleti four minutes from time.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 8/10 – Very attentive to danger on those occasions when Atlético overwhelmed City’s defensive line, matching Griezmann step by step when the Frenchman was sent off in the second half.
Joao Cancelo (LB) – 6/10 – He looked much more threatening when Foden was moved to the left midway through the first half. He defended his far post very well under pressure after the break.
Rodrigo (CM) – 6/10 – A performance that has become the standard for the Spanish international, consistently providing passing angles and retaining the ball under pressure.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 4/10 – He should have scored with his chance in the first half. Spaces closed in the second half and he struggled to influence proceedings.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 3/10 – Atleti quelled his threat exceptionally well, reducing the Belgian to one of his calmest performances of the campaign. Hooked just past the hour mark.
Riyadh Mahrez (RW) – 5/10 – He looked very dangerous when he could combine with the prowling Walker on the right.
Phil Foden (ST) – 3/10 – He struggled as a lone striker against Atleti’s physically imposing central defense. He improves marginally on the left side.
Bernardo Silva (LW) – 5/10 – He didn’t look comfortable on the left side, often losing his one-on-one attacking duels. He moved up the field and instantly became a more creative threat.
Raheem Sterling (ST) – 5/10 – It was added to introduce pacing, but had trouble engaging the game.
Nathan Ake (LB) – N/A
Ferdinand (CM) – N/A