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Report: Atletico draw blank against 10-man PSV Eindhoven

Despite early chances for Griezmann and Vietto, Atletico were stifled in the attacking third in what is becoming a common problem

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid travelled to the Netherlands with certain goals in mind. These goals included keeping a clean sheet and possibly nicking an away goal, although the latter was secondary to making sure PSV were making the return trip to the Vicente Calderon on the back foot and in search of a goal. While they did not score against their opponents, they kept a clean sheet and will feel confident of getting a result in Madrid in two weeks time.

The first half was not as cagey as many thought it might play out. Antoine Griezmann and Luciano Vietto found themselves in behind PSV's defense on more than one occasion in the opening exchanges and the hosts were unlucky not to have a penalty when a flailing leg from Gabi made contact with the knee of PSV's Jurgen Locadia.

Atletico were working hard, as they are wont to do, and PSV were attacking in the knowledge that a scoreless draw would not be the most desirable result to bring to Spain's capital. That is how the first half ended, however, and neither team could complain about the scoreline.

Atletico started the second half in a different gear and started to dominate their opponents in the final third without ever truly troubling Joreon Zoet. Oliver Torres grew into his role on the right hand side and Atletico were starting to probe areas on the right hand side previously untouched in the first half.

The game took a dramatic turn in the 67th minute when Gaston Pereiro was sent off for a second bookable offence when he collided with Diego Godin in the air after the ball was gone. At that point, Phillipe Cocu ordered his men to sit back and defend against Griezmann and company.

Diego Godin had the ball in the back of PSV's net but he was adjudged to have climbed on Hector Moreno's back to gain leverage as he headed home and it was as we were.

Atletico suffered, yet again, from the lack of creativity and PSV's propensity to sit deep further stifled Atletico's attack. Angel Correa offered a spark with his savvy movement and ability to manipulate possession in tight spaces but rarely was there a chance worth remarking upon.

Atletico will entertain their Dutch opponents in a fortnight, safe in the knowledge that they are excellent at home and know a lot more about the Dutch champions than they did heading into their first encounter.