Madrid - Atletico Madrid have booked their place in the quarter-finals of the
Champions League for the first time in 17 years as they beat AC Milan
4-1 at the Vicente Calderon to progress 5-1 on aggregate on Tuesday.
Costa struck the winner in the first leg three weeks ago and it took
him just three minutes to double Atletico's advantage as he
acrobatically turned home Koke's cross.
Milan were given hope when
Kaka headed home Andrea Poli's cross on 27 minutes, but Arda Turan
restored Atletico's lead on the night before half-time when his volley
from the edge of the box deflected past Christian Abbiati.
Garcia's header made it 3-1 before Costa rounded off a fine individual
display with his seventh Champions League goal of the campaign six
minutes from time.
Milan boss Clarence Seedorf had insisted
pre-match that the tie was still open despite losing the first leg at
home, but it looked as if the Italian's hopes had been killed off within
minutes as Gabi robbed the ball from on the right, fed Koke and his
cross was hooked home on the volley by Costa for his 28th goal of the
The hosts were dealt a blow moments later, though, as
Garcia was shown a yellow card that will keep him out of the first leg
of their quarter-final tie.
After an early burst from Atletico,
Milan were enjoying plenty of possession midway through the half, but
didn't look threatening until a lovely move opened up the Spanish side
just before the half hour.
Mario Balotelli sprayed the ball wide
to Poli and his cross was headed home at the back post by Kaka, though,
it took a deflection off Miranda.
The Milan captain then had a
great chance to put his side ahead in the tie on away goal when he
nodded Adel Taarabt's inviting cross just over.
Just four minutes
later, the seven-time European champions were left to rue that miss as
Garcia chested down for Arda on the edge of the box and his shot
cannoned off Adil Rami and past the helpless Abbiati.
came within inches of sealing the tie with a spectacular overhead kick
from Juanfran's cross that flew just past the far post
had another great chance to put the tie to bed within three minutes of
the restart for the second-half as a rapid counter-attack from a Milan
corner saw Costa tee up Gabi and his fierce strike came back off the
outside of the post.
Just as in the first-half Milan grew into the
game as the half progressed and Thibaut Courtois had to dive low to his
left to parry substitute Robinho's low drive across the box.
Simeone's men did finally get the two-goal cushion on the night they
craved when Garcia rose highest to power home Gabi's free-kick 20
minutes from time.
Robinho nearly responded immediately as he blasted Kaka's neat through ball onto the bar with Courtois beaten.
it was Atletico who were able to round off their first victory in a
knockout tie of Europe's premier club competition since 1978 when Costa
arrowed in his second of the night off the far post.