Porto hit the post and had a late Mehdi Taremi goal controversially ruled out as they played out a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Wanda Metropolitano.
Taremi pounced on some uncertain defending to score what looked like being a scrappy opener, only for a lengthy VAR check to disallow it out for a handball infringement.
The visitors went close earlier in the half through an Otavio cross that came back off the frame of the goal, prompting Diego Simeone to introduce Antoine Griezmann from the bench.
But despite having the likes of Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Angel Correa on the field, Atletico could not find a trademark late goal – even after a late Chancel Mbemba red card – as they kicked off their Group B campaign with a draw.
FT in Madrid. A point each. pic.twitter.com/XRtgHSpSg8
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 15, 2021
Suarez was denied by Diogo Costa inside the opening six minutes when taking on an early shot, but that proved to be the home side’s only serious attempt in the first half.
Porto did not fare much better before the interval as Taremi screwed wide from a good position and Marko Grujic headed over from the best of their opportunities.
Atleti were given a scare when Otavio’s attempted cross looped over Jan Oblak and hit the post, with the loose ball just out of Taremi’s reach.
Simeone turned to Griezmann and Correa at that point and the latter got an angled drive on target soon after that Costa was equal to down low.
The hosts had scored late goals in their last two matches but it was Porto who went closest to snatching all three points here through Taremi.
However, the ball ricocheted off the forward’s hand on its way over the line and was chalked off, and further misery was to come for Porto when Mbemba saw red for bringing down Griezmann in added time.
What does it mean? Atleti survive a scare
Placed in an extremely tough group that also contains Liverpool and Milan – two of the four most successful sides in European Cup history – Atletico would have seen this as an important game to put three early points on the board.
Porto themselves boast a proud record in this competition, though, having gone all the way in 2004 and reached the quarter-finals last season, and they did more to win this contest over the 90 minutes.
Atleti have now won just two of their last 10 matches in the Champions League and have work to do if they are to advance, with Liverpool the side top of Group B after beating Milan 3-2 in their opening game.
Let off for Lodi
Substitute Renan Lodi played a poor pass back to Oblak and Taremi was on hand to pounce, but the ball hit his hand before crossing the line and VAR intervened.
Oblak, who was also caught out by Otavio’s earlier wayward cross, breathed a huge sigh of relief and now has 29 clean sheets since making his Champions League debut in September 2014 – more than any other goalkeeper.
Griezmann kept out again
Griezmann had an underwhelming second debut for Atletico in their late win over Espanyol last weekend and was unable to make a difference here when brought off the bench.
The France international had 19 touches of the ball, which is one more than Suarez managed across the entire game, but not one of those came in the opposition box where he can do most of his damage.
Key Opta Facts:
– Atletico Madrid have failed to win their opening game of a Champions League campaign for the third straight season (D2 L1), while they’ve failed to score in the last two – 4-0 v Bayern Munich in 2020-21 and 0-0 v FC Porto this term.
– Atleti are winless in their last four home games in the Champions League (D3 L1); their joint-longest run without a home victory in the competition, following another four-game streak in December 2009.
– Since making his Champions League debut for Atleti in September 2014, Jan Oblak has kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in the competition (29).
– Luis Suarez is still looking for his first Champions League goal for Atleti, with this game being his seventh appearance and having attempted 12 shots without scoring.
Atletico return to LaLiga action on Saturday with a home match against Athletic Bilbao, while Porto host Moreirense in the Primeira Liga the following day.
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