Champions League QF: Atletico Madrid hold Real Madrid to a draw
ATLETICO MADRID 0 REAL MADRID 0
Atletico Madrid's young goalkeeper Jan Oblak was the hero as he denied city neighbours Real a priceless away goal in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final showdown on Wednesday morning (April 14).
The 22-year-old Slovenian pulled off two vital first-half saves, the first of them at point-blank range, to deny Gareth Bale and enable Atletico to extend their unbeaten record against Carlo Ancelotti's men this season to seven games.
Photo: Reuters. Real Madrid's Gareth Bale has a shot saved by(right) Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak (left)
Real enjoyed the better of the early stages at the Vicente Calderon, but ultimately had to make do with a share of the spoils to set up a dramatic shoot-out at the Bernabeu in the second leg.
Real sprinted out of the blocks and had their hosts on the back foot from the off with Bale in particular a threat as he and full-back Dani Carvajal prospered down the right.
Carvajal forced Oblak into a second-minute save with a long-range effort, but it was the Wales international who came closest to breaking the deadlock during the opening flurry.
Bale should really have scored with just four minutes gone when he took advantage of defender Diego Godin's error to race in on goal, but Oblak threw out his right arm to make a fine save.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to extend the keeper unduly with a 35-year-free-kick, but Bale did force him into another impressive save 14 minutes before the break with a skidding effort which bounced just in front of him.
Oblak distinguished himself once again six minutes later when he turned away James Rodriguez's audacious effort.
The second half, however, was a much more even affair as Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic started to make his presence felt - not always legally - although clear-cut chances were few and far between.
However, the introduction of Fernando Torres as a late substitute injected new life into the game as he had appeals for an 87th-minute penalty waved away and then saw Mandzukic blast a last-minute drive into Alvaro Arbeloa's midriff.
Ronaldo scuffed an injury-time shot straight at Oblak at the other end, but there was to be no late drama as the game ended in stalemate.
- PA Sports