Coaches content as Atletico and PSV play to a draw

Atletico Madrid's forward Luciano Vietto (centre) fights for the ball against PSV's midfielder Marco van Ginkel (left) and forward Jurgen Locadia (back).
Atletico Madrid's forward Luciano Vietto (centre) fights for the ball against PSV's midfielder Marco van Ginkel (left) and forward Jurgen Locadia (back). PHOTO AFP

EINDHOVEN • Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone was satisfied with his side's goalless draw with PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and vowed that "goals will come".

The Spanish club have earned a well-founded reputation for their iron-clad defence and duly recorded their 12th clean sheet in 16 outings in this competition.

But it was the Dutch champions who had to produce a stout rearguard action to avoid being beaten and leave the tie balanced ahead of the return leg on March 15.

PSV were forced to play the closing stages deep in their own half after 20-year-old striker Gaston Pereiro was sent off for a second booking in the 68th minute.

The 2014 runners-up had a number of chances to score a vital away goal.

Forward Luciano Vietto raced onto a long ball inside the opening three minutes and scooped it over PSV 'keeper Jeroen Zoet, but saw his effort cleared off the line by the back-tracking Jeffrey Bruma. Antoine Griezmann then had the best chance of the game when he collected Koke's through ball after beating the offside trap, but Zoet rushed off his line to make a vital save.

"(Atletico goalkeeper Jan) Oblak didn't have to do anything. We couldn't score but we're not out of the tie," said Simeone after watching his side register five shots on target - compared to the hosts' one - from 58 per cent possession.

"When we have given everything, have had chances and have played the game in the opposition half, it makes me happy. Goals will come - I'm a patient man."

PSV manager Phillip Cocu was also content with the result.

"I'd said before that if you can keep a clean sheet at home, you lay a good foundation," he said. "We have something to fight for in Madrid now - it's all to play for.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2016, with the headline 'Coaches content as Atletico and PSV play to a draw'. Print Edition | Subscribe