Madrid - Antoine Griezmann's penalty handed Atletico Madrid
a slender 1-0 advantage over Leicester City in the first leg of their Champions
League quarter-final on Wednesday.
In a game of very few chances, Griezmann proved decisive as
it was he who also won the penalty with a lung-busting run from well inside his
own half before being brought down by Marc Albrighton midway through the first
The French international put his previous penalty demons
behind him to convert from the spot and put Atletico in the driving seat for a
third semi-final in four seasons.
However, Leicester still have reason to believe their dream
run on their first appearance in the Champions League can continue when the
sides meet again on April 18.
And manager Craig Shakespeare claimed his side were undone
by referee Jonas Eriksson as he believed Griezmann was fouled outside the area.
"I think we were hard done by," said Shakespeare.
"I think it is one of the major decisions in the game.
It is a definite foul but it is outside the box."
Atletico coach Diego Simeone lamented his side's inability
to kill the tie, but lauded Leicester's defensive effort.
"Maybe we lacked a clinical finish," said the
"After the 1-0 Leicester defended very well, sat deep,
waited for a counter-attack and we couldn't create more chances.
"They bet everything on the second leg."
The behaviour of Leicester's travelling fans was in the
spotlight after 10 were arrested in violent clashes with police on Tuesday
night and Wednesday before kick-off.
However, the 3,000 travelling supporters high in the rafters
of the Calderon were largely silenced by Atletico's dominance of the match.
Unusually for Simeone's men they were in almost complete
control of possession, but largely limited to shots from long range.
Koke came closest from distance when he drilled an effort
off the outside of the post after just five minutes.
Yannick Carrasco then slashed wildly at a volley when
well-placed at the back post.
Griezmann and Saul Niguez were next to take aim from outside
the box, but both failed to find the target with powerful drives that flew over
Kasper Schmeichel's goal.
Leicester had been enjoying their best spell of the half
when suddenly they were caught short-handed at the back on 27 minutes.
Griezmann collected the ball outside his own area and ran to
just inside the Leicester box before being crudely barged over by Albrighton.
Schmeichel had saved a penalty in each of Leicester's two
legs against Sevilla in the last 16 and Griezmann had missed his last four for
Atletico, including in last season's Champions League final.
However, Griezmann sent the Dane the wrong way from the spot
to register his 24th goal of the season.
Both sides seemed content to settle the tie at the King
Power in six days' time with Atletico holding a 1-0 advantage after the break.
Leicester were without captain Wes Morgan due to a back
injury and his return to health will be even more important for the second leg
as Robert Huth will be suspended after being booked for chopping down
Griezmann was the standout performer and nearly added an
assist to the only goal but Angel Correa couldn't quite stretch to reach his
dangerous low cross 17 minutes from time.
Leicester, meanwhile, didn't threaten an away goal as
Atletico held out for their 18th clean sheet in 22 home Champions League games
since Simeone took charge.