Atlético Madrid advanced to the quarter-finals on penalties for the second successive season after their contest with PSV Eindhoven became the first UEFA Champions League knockout tie to finish goalless after two legs.
Diego Simeone issued a rallying cry to Atlético fans in his pre-match press conference and his call to arms was answered by a vocal Vicente Calderón. Before the game a mosaic was held up in addition to a banner declaring ‘Never stop believing’. Neither team – or their fans – did, and when Juanfran’s winning penalty went in the proverbial roof came off. Atletico won 8-7 after the shoot out.
Twelve months after they got the better of Bayer Leverkusen on spot kicks, the 2014 runners-up held their nerve in the pressure situation once again, scoring all eight of their efforts. Luciano Narsingh was the fall guy, rattling the crossbar with the 15th attempt before Juanfran stepped up to fire the Rojiblancos into the last eight.
Goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet, Atlético’s nemesis in the first leg, was at it again after a quarter of an hour as he saved Antoine Griezmann’s close-range strike, the France forward having been teed up by Koke. It would prove by far and away the clearest opportunity of the opening 45 minutes.
Even so, the tempo was still high, with PSV more than playing their part as they picked their moments when to attack. The best of them arrived just before the hour, when the woodwork came to the Liga side’s rescue, Jan Oblak tipping Jürgen Locadia’s shot against the far post. Filipe Luís blocked Luuk de Jong’s header on the rebound.
Apprehension began to set in among the home fans the longer it remained goalless, particularly when Zoet repelled a late Fernando Torres effort and Lucas Hernández headed over in extra time. They need not have worried, however, as the Atleti players kept their cool when it mattered most.