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Atletico Madrid 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Aberdeen

UEFA Cup Group B
Atletico Madrid scorers: Forlan 45 (Pen), Langfield 61 (OG)

29/11/2007 | KO: 19:45

Dons lose out in Madrid

The score line may read 2-0 to Madrid but this doesn't tell the half of the story of this match. Aberdeen can hold their heads high after this performance and they certainly gave the travelling support a lot to cheer about despite carrying no luck throughout the 90 minutes. First they lost McNamara and Jamie Smith to injury then just as they looked like they had made it to half time all level Hart conceded a penalty in injury time and Forlan scored from the spot. Atletico added a second from a very soft free kick after the break as the kick smacked against the post and rebounded off the back of the keeper and into the net. The Dons then forced the Spaniards on to the back foot and Miller and Clark both had good chances to score but the ball wouldn't go in. One of the positives from tonight was the performance of Karim Touzani who was the stand out player for the Dons on the night.

As expected Madrid started powerfully and Luis Garcia went close in the first minute as he raced on to a through ball and squeezed it wide of the target. The Dons eased forward a minute later but Severin's long throw was easily cleared. The Spaniards then hit the woodwork in the 3rd minute when a vicious shot from Pernia beat Langfield, crashed off the far post and rolled along the line before going out for a goal kick. Aberdeen looked rattled and were conceding possession too easily. Touzani then saved the Dons in the 6th minute when he raced back to concede a corner as Madrid looked set to score.

Foster looked to have forced a corner for the Dons in the 8th minute but the referee awarded the home side a harsh free kick. Foster threatened again two minutes later when a Smith cross was nicked of the midfielder's toe deep inside the Madrid box. Aberdeen had settled after a nervous start but the home side were enjoying the lion's share of the possession and Forlan fired wide in the 17th minute although the referee adjudged that Langfield had tipped the ball wide. A McNamara cross in the 22nd minute just eluded Lee Miller as the Dons look to pinch a first half goal.

Lee Miller looked to have broke in the 25th minute but once again the referee penalised the player for an infringement. The striker then won a free kick 30 yards out when he was challenged from behind. Severin drilled the ball low to the keeper's right and the Italian gathered at the second attempt. McNamara picked up a knock on the half hour mark and as the player was off Madrid almost grabbed the lead before the Dons scrambled the ball clear. With Clark still trying to get on to replace McNamara, Motto almost latched on to a through ball, but it eluded him and ran out of play.

A Dons free kick in the 36th minute was wasted when Severin failed to get the ball past the first defender and at the other end Santana fired over when he pounced on a Diamond clearance. Touzani was having an immense game and he made a telling block four minutes from the interval and seconds later Langfield made a terrific save from Garcia. Aberdeen were then dealt a second blow when Jamie Smith limped off in the 43rd minute to be replaced by Jeffrey de Visscher. Worse was to follow in the final minute when Hart conceded a spot kick and Forlan sent Langfield the wrong way to open the scoring.

The red army were left concerned in the opening minute when de Visscher took a nasty challenge that Pernia was lucky to escape a yellow card for. Fortunately the Dutchman recovered but two minutes later Diamond damaged his wrist and required treatment. The young defender also returned despite looking in considerable pain. Madrid were looking for an early second goal and forced several early corners that were well defended. At this stage of the half Aberdeen had failed to threaten the Madrid goal until Severin threw in a couple of long throws in the 58th minute, but both were easily cleared.

The referee appeared keen to award the Spanish any free kick that he could and an extremely soft award on the hour mark produced a second goal for the Spanish. The goal itself carried a great deal of luck as Siamo's free kick smashed off the post then rebounded off Langfield and into the net. Two minutes later de Visscher fired inches wide as the Dons task looked extremely difficult now. They certainly were not enjoying any luck in the Spanish capital at this stage and barely deserved to be two behind.

A half chance presented itself to Derek Young in the 67th minute but he was very slow to react and the chance was gone. Young burst into the box two minutes later before he was outnumbered but he won the Dons first corner. Miller should have pulled one back from the corner but he failed to turn the ball into the net when de Visscher found him six yards out with the goal at his mercy. In the 72nd minute de Visscher broke on the right but with little support in the middle the Dutchman floated the ball over the bar.

Aberdeen were really pressing the Spaniards now and Severin should have done better three minutes later when he had a sight of goal but dithered on the ball and lost the chance. Severin was then replaced by Maguire as the Dons looked to try and take something from the game. A lung-bursting run from Chris Clark won the Dons a corner in the 78th minute but Clark turned sinner when he fired over from the edge of the box in a shot reminiscent of his effort in Greece.

With the Spaniards looking to be on the rack they raced up field and fired inches over. At the other end Lee Miller was flagged offside when he was clearly well on as they failed to get any breaks from the officials. Two minutes later the flag happy assistant denied Maguire a scoring opportunity with another poor decision. In stoppage time Langfield had a comfortable save and Lee Miller hit a weak shot that was easily gathered as time eventually ran out on a fine display. If Copenhagen and Moscow lose their next matches then a win against Copenhagen in the final match would see them through.

Atletico Madrid Teamsheet
Christian Abbiati, Guerrero Antonio Lopez, Mariano Pernia, Thiago Motta, Loureiro Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan (Miguel Mista 70), Sanz Luis Garcia, Sergio Aguero (Sabrosa Simao 46), Rodriguez Maxi (Nuno Maniche 71), Dos Santos Fabiano Eller, Ibanez Pablo. Unused Subs: Ismael Falcon, Escudero Raul Garcia, Jose Ze Castro, Jose Antonio Reyes.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Hart, Byrne, Severin (Maguire 76), Diamond, Touzani, Smith (de Visscher 44), McNamara (Clark 34), Miller, Young, Foster.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Nicholson, Considine, Aluko.

Bookings:  Hart,  Langfield.
Attendance: 30,000
Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid
Referee: Ivan Bebek, Croatia
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead