Champions League: Atletico, Monaco move on to quarter-finals
Madrid goalkeeper makes series of great saves to preserve 0-0 draw
Goalkeeper Jan Oblak made a series of great saves as Atletico Madrid held Bayer Leverkusen to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the fourth straight season.
Oblak came up big every time Leverkusen got close to his goal, proving crucial for Atletico as it protected its 4-2 first-leg victory in the Round of 16.
Oblak made three spectacular consecutive saves midway through the second half to end Leverkusen's hopes of overturning the defeat in Germany.
"Sometimes you make three saves, and sometimes they score a goal with the first attempt," Oblak said. "It is difficult to explain. I saw the ball and went for it. I reacted quickly and everything went well for me."
Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno also played well to keep Atletico from capitalizing on its chances.
Leverkusen was trying to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since it lost to Real Madrid in the 2002 final. The German club was eliminated by Atletico at this same stage in a penalty shootout two seasons ago, when Oblak also thrived with an important penalty save.
The goalkeeper made amazing back-to-back saves on Wednesday after a mistake by Atletico defender Jose Gimenez led to a dangerous breakaway for Leverkusen in the 68th minute.
Oblak first stopped Julian Brandt's attempt in a one-on-one, then immediately threw himself in front of the goal to keep Kevin Volland from scoring from the rebound, and again outstretched his arms to block Volland's other attempt from close range.
The German club still had another chance in the same move, but the shot by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez missed wide of the far post as Oblak watched.
The draw for the quarter-finals will be held on Friday.
Monaco moves on
Midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko's thumping header sent Monaco through to the quarter-finals as the home side beat Manchester City 3-1 on Wednesday to progress on the away goals rules.
City fought back from 2-0 down and was momentarily in control after midfielder Leroy Sane's 71st-minute goal. But six minutes later Bakayoko rose imperiously to meet Thomas Lemar's curling free kick and restore the two-goal margin Monaco needed as the contest finished 6-6 on aggregate.
Trailing 5-3 from the first leg of their Round of 16 match, Monaco made the perfect start. Confirming his reputation as a rising star of European football, 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe scored from close range in the eighth minute for his 11th goal in 11 games.
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho made it 2-0 in the 29th with a crisp shot from near the penalty spot after excellent work by left back Benjamin Mendy.
Three weeks ago, City had rallied from 3-2 down with three goals in the last 20 minutes and Pep Guardiola's side needed another comeback on the French Riviera.