Atlético Madrid bowed out of the Copa del Rey at the semifinal stage after a pretty impressive effort over two legs against Barcelona. That effort saw them undone by two first half goals at the Vicente Calderón that they never recovered from.
Diego Simeone selected an attacking eleven to play Barça at Camp Nou on Tuesday, trying to hunt the hosts down Barcelona in their own half in the hopes of turning the tie around. They got off to a flying start but Jasper Cillessen was equal to Yannick Carrasco’s tame effort inside six minutes and the referee opted not to give Fernando Torres a penalty for what appeared to be a foul by Sergi Roberto about 20 minutes. Antoine Griezmann had an excellent chance from a header, but was offside and could not convert.
Atlético’s hopes of winning the game with two goals were dealt a hammer blow when Lionel Messi did what Lionel Messi does and skipped past a number of defenders before unleashing a strike that Miguel Ángel Moyá could only parry into the path of Luis Suárez, who stroked home into an open goal.
Atleti were on the attack again upon the start of the second half and were given a massive boost when Sergi Roberto was sent off for his second yellow for a high challenge on Filipe Luis. But, Atletico could still not score and did not have a chance to make that advantage pay off as Yannick Carrasco, who was having a mare anyway, got his marching orders after a second yellow for a clumsy tackle on Arda Turan.
Griezmann had a perfect goal ruled out for offside, and Kévin Gameiro missed a penalty that he won after a tackle from behind from Pique. As Gameiro’s penalty sailed high and over the bar, Atlético’s rate from the spot plummeted; they have scored just three in eight attempts.
Simeone’s men did give themselves a lifeline when Griezmann squared for Gameiro just moments later and he stroked home into an open goal, much like Suárez, but it was too little too late. Barcelona saw Suárez dismissed for an elbow to Koke’s jaw in injury time and he will miss the final in May.
Despite doing themselves proud and pushing Barcelona to the very last minute, it is another disappointing result for Atlético with the Champions League the only real chance of landing silverware left for this season.