Ruthless Atleti Rout Leverkusen 4-2 In Germany

Atletico Madrid’s Kevin Gameiro (L) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 3-1 lead from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, first leg soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid in Leverkusen, Germany, 21 February 2017. EPA/SASCHA STEINBACH

By Andah John

Atletico Madrid have all but sealed their place in the last eight of the Champions League after scoring four away goals to take charge of their last-16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen.

A stunning strike from Saul Niguez gave Atleti the lead, as he picked the ball up on the right, cut inside before curling a left-footed shot into the top corner.

Antoine Griezmann was on hand to double the advantage for the Rojiblancos. He did that when he connected with Kevin Gameiro’s pass after poor defending by Leverkusen captain Omer Toprak.

Diego Simeone’s side did not relent on their lead as they pressed for more goals. The pressure led to Wendell striking his own crossbar in clearing Felipe Luis’ cross. Also, goalkeeper Bernd Leno, on two occasions, denied Griezmann a goal.

Leverkusen pull one back

Early in the second half, Karim Bellarabi finished off a tantalising team move to pull one back for the hosts. But Gameiro’s clinically converted from the spot to restore Spanish side’s two-goal advantage before Stefan Savic’s own goal cut the lead yet again.

But substitute Fernando Torres ensured his side left the Bay Arena with a massive win when he headed home a late fourth.

Both sides would go head-to-head for the second leg at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday, 15 March.

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