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Simeone’s fortress holds firm: Atletico Madrid edge past Dortmund

Atletico Madrid grabbed a vital 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash. This win extends Diego Simeone’s incredible unbeaten home record in Champions League knockout games to a staggering 17 matches.

Atletico started like a house on fire, and their pressure paid off early. A horrific mistake by Dortmund defender Ian Maatsen gifted the ball to Rodrigo De Paul, who coolly slotted home with the outside of his boot after just five minutes. The Colchoneros continued to dominate, with Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata squandering good chances.

READ MORE: Atlético Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund: Official Lineups

Dortmund’s first real sniff of goal came after half an hour, but Felix Nmecha’s header from a corner sailed harmlessly over. Atletico then doubled their lead thanks to a moment of magic from Griezmann. The French forward floated a delightful ball over the top of the Dortmund defense, and Samuel Lino slotted home with ease. Dortmund’s defending for this goal was comical, with Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck failing to communicate disastrously.

Dortmund showed more fight after the break, with substitute Julian Brandt forcing a save from Atletico keeper Jan Oblak. Edin Terzic, the Dortmund manager, threw on striker Sébastien Haller in a bid to change the game, and the tactic almost paid off immediately. Haller latched onto a pass from Brandt and smashed a fantastic shot past Oblak to give Dortmund a lifeline.

READ MORE: Atletico Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund: Preview and Prediction

The visitors piled on the pressure in the closing stages, with Brandt even hitting the woodwork with a header. However, Atletico held on for a crucial win, leaving Dortmund with a mountain to climb in the second leg at theirWestfalenstadion home. The Yellow Wall, Dortmund’s legendary fan base, will need to be in full voice if they are to overturn this deficit.

Man of the Match: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

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