Champions League

Torres hails tense win

2015-03-18 08:46
Fernando Torres was unveiled at the Vicente Calderon.

Madrid - Fernando Torres hailed Atletico Madrid's tense 3-2 win on penalties over Bayer Leverkusen as the reason he returned to his boyhood club three months ago.

Torres scored Atletico's final spot-kick and then watched as Stefan Kiessling blazed over to seal Atletico's place in the last eight for the second consecutive season.

"I never had any doubt I made the right decision in coming here. This is something I'll never forget," said Torres, who came through the ranks to captain the club before leaving for Liverpool 2007.

"To play in the Champions League on nights like this is a gift."

Mario Suarez scored the only goal of the night in normal time as Atletico cancelled out the Germans' 1-0 first leg advantage to send the tie the full distance.

And in a topsy-turvy shootout that included five misses, Atletico squeezed through to the last eight for the second consecutive season.

"The last time I was at a Champions League game at the Calderon I was 11 or 12," added Torres.

"To experience it on the field is incredible. I can only thank the fans. The were supporting us until the end and that is why they are the best fans in the world."

The drama at the Calderon outweighed good football as chances were hard to come by throughout the 120 minutes.

"We controlled the game but with the score as it was, it wasn't easy," said Torres.

"A draw was a fair result over the two legs and once it goes to penalties, the team that has the most luck wins."

To cap a glorious night for Atletico, it was also confirmed that inspirational coach Diego Simeone is nearing an agreement with a club on a contract extension until 2020.

"We are going to have good news in the coming days," his sister and agent Natalia Simeone told Television Espanola.

Simeone himself insisted he had not yet put pen to paper and instead wanted to highlight the incredible effort made by his players despite missing the experienced duo of Diego Godin and Tiago through suspension.

"I value greatly the effort of the group, they work very hard. They never give up, and you can see that today even with those that haven't played as many minutes (throughout the season)," said the Argentine.

"It is very difficult for a team like Atletico Madrid to be in the best eight teams in Europe two years in a row."

Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt, meanwhile, hailed the efforts of his young side to take last season's beaten finalists to the brink of elimination.

"After conceding an early goal we defended very well, we made an extraordinary effort.

"We have to bear in mind that we have a young team without much experience and it isn't easy to resist such pressure in a stadium like the Vicente Calderon.

"In the end in the penalties it was a shame that we didn't have the cool head needed to go through."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.