Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

Atletico march into quarters as Oblak shines

Atletico march into quarters as Oblak shines

17-year-old Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz has been ruled out of their crucial Champions League second-leg fixture against Atletico Madrid... because he has important school exams.

Having joined UCL top-scorers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the podium for all of Europe's major awards, Griezmann was always going to be key to Atleti's chances and he has once again led from the front.

"It will be a tough game and I'm expecting a similar game to the first leg in which they can create chances".

He will need to prove his fitness before being named in Wednesday's squad.

Atletico Madrid will rely on leading striker Griezmann.

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Hernandez just failed to reach a rebound after Karim Bellarabi brought another save out of Oblak, before Kevin Kampl's precise strike from 25 yards was tipped away from the bottom corner, as Atleti survived a smattering of late pressure to preserve their clean sheet and their place in Friday's quarter-final draw. We know what we need and we know it will be hard. It's something very important for us, for the club, and that's why tomorrow's match, it deserves so much respect so as our rival.

The Germans had Bernd Leno to thank towards the end of the first half as the goalkeeper made a magnificent double save to keep his side in the tie.

Leverkusen are in a process of transition after Roger Schmidt was sacked on March 5 following an embarrassing 6-2 thrashing at Borussia Dortmund and his successor Tayfun Korkut said the odds were stacked against his side progressing. The visitors will hope their main player Javier Hernandez will rediscover his goal scoring form as he went goalless over the last four matches, after scoring five in just three appearances before the Champions League first leg against Los Rojiblancos.

Bayer will be without Lars Bender, Stefan Kiessling, Omer Toprak and Jonathan Tah on Wednesday.

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