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Atletico & Real Ends Goalless

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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…Goalkeeper Jan Oblak excels for home side
…Atletico unbeaten against Real in seven games
…Ronaldo fails to break scoring record
…Casillas breaks competition appearance record
Gareth Bale missed a glorious chance as Atletico Madrid held rivals Real Madrid to a goalless draw in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Wales forward Bale was through on goal in the third minute, but was thwarted by Jan Oblak, who was impressive for the home side throughout.

The goalkeeper also made a crucial save from James Rodriguez, as Mario Suarez missed a late chance for Atletico.

The sides meet again in the second leg at the Bernabeu on 22 April.

Real are aiming to become the first team to win back-to-back European Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990, having defeated Atletico in last season's final.

Carlo Ancelotti's men have now not beaten their opponents in seven meetings since claiming La Decima – their 10th European Cup – which includes a 4-0 La Liga thumping in February.

The Italian manager fielded a line-up which had Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema up front, and former Tottenham winger Bale also started after missing the weekend league victory over Eibar with a thigh injury.

Their attacking intent was clear to see as Los Blancos monopolised possession, but the organised structure of Diego Simeone's well-drilled side – who defended stoutly at the Vicente Calderon – meant the visitors were unable to find a breakthrough.

The Argentine, however, will not be too displeased with the result, after his side did not concede an away goal.

They were particularly indebted to goalkeeper Oblak for a goalless scoreline after the Slovenian twice thwarted efforts from Bale, as well as keeping out Rodriguez's curled strike.

The second half became increasing bad tempered. Real defender Sergio Ramos drew blood from Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic after catching him on the head with his elbow as he headed clear a cross into the box.

Although there seemed to be no intent, the Croatia forward was left incensed by the incident and later appeared to be punched by Dani Carvajal.

Atletico's best chances came in the final few minutes as midfielder Suarez had an overhead kick pushed away by Iker Casillas – making a record 147th appearance in the competition – and Alvaro Arbeloa blocked Mandzukic's rasping drive.

Ronaldo, whose only real effort on goal was a 30-yard free kick gathered easily by Oblak, failed to become the Champions League's record goalscorer, remaining on 75 goals in the competition with rival Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona forward can take the lead in the scoring chart on Wednesday, when his side face Paris St-Germain in France.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone:
“We have a very intelligent group of players who knew how to react to the way things went in the first half.

“They (Real) are playing the second leg in front of their own fans and they will make a huge effort so we have to try and keep our heads.”

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti:
“The first half was fantastic and we played with a lot of personality. We did some great work going forward with some excellent movement but then we didn't finish off the moves well enough.

“The second half was different, Atletico pressuring more and we found it harder to control possession.

“The result isn't so good but we have confidence due to the game we played above all in the first half and for the return.

“What we have to do is try to repeat the way we played for the first 45 minutes for 90.”

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