Champions League: Atletico Madrid need nothing less than a win against Roma
Former finalists desperate for victory against Roma tonight to keep UEFA Champions League hopes alive
It has been a hugely disappointing Champions League campaign so far for Atletico Madrid, with the runners up from 2016 and 2014 in serious danger of suffering an early exit. Atletico are staring at an embarrassing and financially damaging Champions League exit in the face unless they beat an in-form Roma tonight. Even victory over the Group C leaders and away to Chelsea in two weeks may not be enough to save Atletico unless Azerbaijani Champions League debutants Qarabag can also do them a favour by taking points off Chelsea or Roma in their final two games.
Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann during a training session on the eve of the Champions League match against Roma in Madrid yesterday. Pic/AFP
In Diego Simeone's glorious reign as boss, only Real Madrid have previously been capable of eliminating Atletico from the Champions League. They have twice dumped out Barcelona and beat Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich en route to the 2016 final. Los Rojiblancos have been extremely ineffective in the final third, netting just twice in four matches and nowhere was their profligacy more evident than in the first matchday at the Stadio Olimpico. Atleti head into the game short on confidence, with star forward Antoine Griezmann extending his longest ever goal drought at the weekend to eight league games by drawing a blank against Real Madrid and receiving whistles from the home fans as he was substituted.
While Atletico were holding on for a 0-0 draw against Real Madrid on Saturday, Roma were winning their city derby 2-1 against Lazio to record a sixth successive win in all competitions; therefore, the Giallorossi arrive in the Spanish capital in fine form and having caused Chelsea all sorts of problems at Stamford Bridge in their 3-3 draw last month before beating the Blues 3-0 in Rome, they will be confident of claiming a positive result at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.
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