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Friday, May 27th

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An outstanding defensive performance by Atletico Madrid meant that the ever improving Spanish side were able to deny Bayern Munich any goals at the Vicente Calderon, and will in fact take a narrow lead themselves to the Allianz Arena for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final next Tuesday after Saul Niguez's excellent 11th minute goal gave them a 1-0 win.

There were more than a few surprises in both line-ups with Bayern Munich surprisingly leaving Thomas Muller out of their starting line-up, with coach Pep Guardiola opting to play Kingsley Coman instead down the right flank and Douglas Costa down the left. Arturo Vidal was given a free role behind striker Robert Lewandowski while the Spanish duo of Thiago Alcantara and Xabi Alonso sat in front of the back four.

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A couple of goals from French forward Antoine Griezmann were just about enough to earn Atletico Madrid a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, at the expense of La Liga leaders and defending champions Barcelona, who after going 39 games unbeaten till very recently, suffered their third defeat in recent weeks, including one each at the hands of the two Madrid giants.

Today's loss was all the more crucial for Barcelona as it denied them a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League, despite carrying a 2-1 advantage from the first leg at the Camp Nou.

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The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Spanish clubs Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

The two clubs were found to have violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of minor players as well as other relevant provisions with regard to the registration and participation of certain players in competitions.

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Lionel Messi guided Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in their La Liga match at the Vicente Calderon yesterday.

After a goalless first half, which saw Luis Suarez rattling the bar with his effort, Los Rojiblancos went ahead in the 51st minute when Tiago set up Fernando Torres with a superb through ball following a counterattack by his side, with the former Liverpool and Chelsea forward finding the back of the net, beating Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the process.

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Spanish giants Barcelona took the first step towards a treble this season when they defeated Atletico Madrid to reclaim the La Liga title, exactly a year to the day Los Rojiblancos had won it with a draw against the Catalans.

In the match that was held at the Vicente Calderon, Atletico came close to scoring before Luis Enrique’s side started threatening with their attacking gameplay. Diego Simeone’s men managed to keep them at bay for a significant portion of the match before talismanic Argentine superstar Lionel Messi finally put them ahead, scoring the only goal of the match, in the 65th minute.

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Defending champions Real Madrid reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the fifth successive year beating their city rivals Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the second leg of their quarterfinal clash at Santiago Bernabeu after the first leg at the Vicente Calderon had finished goalless.

Javier Hernandez, on loan from Manchester United, scored the only goal of the game, three minutes from the end of regulation time, to settle the tie that for long periods appeared destined for extra-time.

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Reigning Champions League champions Real Madrid will face city rivals Atletico Madrid in the quarter finals of the competition.

Since Real’s 4-1 victory over Los Rojiblancos in the final of the Champions League last season, the two sides have met each other 6 times this season, with Los Blancos failing to win on even a single occasion. And with both sides desperate to prove a point to each other, the match will certainly be a fierce one.


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