MX23RW : Tuesday, October 16 13:23:09

Live Commentary: Qarabag 0-0 Atletico Madrid - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Champions League group match between Qarabag FK and Atletico Madrid from Azerbaijan, which ended 0-0.

Atletico Madrid were held to a goalless draw by Azerbaijani champions Qarabag FK in Wednesday night's Champions League clash in Baku.

The result has left Atletico on two points in Group C, and the Madrid club now face a serious battle to make the knockout round of the competition.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

4.01pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's live Champions League coverage continues from Azerbaijan as Qarabag welcome Atletico Madrid in Group C. Qarabag have lost both of their group matches thus far to sit bottom of the table, while Atletico have only collected one point from two fixtures in the section. It is a must-win game for Atletico. Stay tuned for what should be a cracking game!

4.04pmUnsurprisingly, tonight will be the first meeting between Qarabag and Atletico in European competition. It is also the first time that an Azerbaijani side will lock horns with a team from Spain. Indeed, Qarabag are the first Azerbaijani outfit to ever compete in the group stage of the Champions League.

4.07pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Baku. Atletico were in La Liga action on Saturday night – drawing 1-1 at home to Barcelona. Qarabag, meanwhile, recorded a 2-0 win at Inter Baku in the Premyer Liqa table on Friday night.


QARABAG: Sehic; Medvedev, Sadygov, Guseynov, Agolli; Madatov, Garayev, Almeida, Henrique; Michel; Ndlovu

ATLETICO: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Luis; Saul, Gabi, Gaitan; Carrasco, Gameiro, Griezmann

4.13pmAs expected, Qarabag will take to the field in a 4-4-1-1 formation, with former Birmingham City midfielder Michel supporting lone forward Dino Ndlovu, who has scored seven times in all competitions this season. There is also a spot in the XI for Brazilian Pedro Henrique, while Richard Almeida keeps his place in the middle of the park. Rashad Sadygov skippers the team from centre-back.

4.16pmAtletico boss Diego Simeone, meanwhile, has made four changes to the team that started against Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday night. Sime Vrsaljko and Jose Gimenez replace Juanfran and Stefan Savic at the back, while Nico Gaitan and Kevin Gameiro come in for Koke and Angel Correa. Yannick Ferreira Carrasco keeps his position as the support act to Antoine Griezmann and Gameiro.

4.19pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in Baku. I shall speak about the home side a little bit later, but let's start with Atletico, who really need to win tonight. Indeed, a difficult start to their 2017-18 Champions League campaign has left Diego Simeone's side down in third position in Group C on just one point.

4.22pmAtletico picked up a good point away to Roma in their group opener on September 12, but suffered a late 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea before the international break. The Madrid giants now have the chance to put two wins on the board as they face Qarabag home and away before the end of the month, but tonight will not be a given against the Azerbaijani hosts, especially not in this stadium.


4.28pmAs mentioned, Atletico will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Barcelona on Saturday night. It did appear that Simeone's side would be collecting all three points on home soil, but Luis Suarez came up with a late equaliser for the visitors. The result has left the capital club in fourth position in La Liga – just one point off third-placed Real Madrid after eight matches of the season.

4.32pmAtletico are the favourites tonight, but they have actually only won three of their last 10 Champions League away matches. They reached the semi-finals of last season's competition during another strong showing, but lost 4-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid, who went on to win their 12th European Cup.

4.35pmSimeone's side might have lost their last Champions League match against Chelsea, but that was their only defeat in their last 14 games in all competitions. There is just something about Atletico in this competition, and despite Chelsea and Roma currently sitting first and second in the group, it would take a brave man to rule this Atletico team out of contention.


4.42pmAs for Qarabag, the debutants have lost their two Group C matches thus far – suffering a 2-1 home defeat to Roma last time out after losing by six at Chelsea on September 12. They earned a spot in this season's group stage after overcoming FC Samtedia, FC Sheriff and Copenhagen in the qualifying rounds, but it does appear that they will struggle to compete at this level.

4.45pmQarabag qualified for the Champions League after winning the Azerbaijani Premier League for a fifth time last season. They are chasing a fifth straight league title this term, and have taken 19 points from their seven league matches to top the table – one point clear of second-placed Zira.

4.48pmQarabag are a team that are used to winning football matches, having gone unbeaten in their last 18 fixtures in domestic competition. They recorded a 2-0 win at Inter Baku on Friday night, and have only conceded three times in their last five matches in all competitions, which includes the 2-1 home reverse to Roma in their last group match on September 27. Atletico will be in for a match here.


4.55pmHere we go then - both sets of players are in the tunnel ahead of kickoff in Baku. Atletico really need to win tonight, but Qarabag will be eyeing their first ever victory in the group stage of the Champions League. Stay tuned for all of the action from this brilliant stadium. Kickoff is next!

0 minKICKOFF! Qarabag kick things off on home soil...

2 min... not a full house inside the stadium, but there is a brilliant atmosphere. As expected, the visitors Atletico have looked to get on the front foot early as Qarabag are pressed high up the field.

4 minEvery Qarabag touch is being cheered like a goal by the home supporters, while Atletico are being booed in possession of the ball. Not an awful lot to report in terms of excitement in the early stages, with Atletico just looking to find their feet. So far so good for the home side here.

6 minSmart work from Ndlovu releases Henrique, who drives down the right before delivering, but Godin is on hand to make the clearance. The crowd are going absolutely mad whenever Qarabag are inside the Atletico half of the field, and the visitors are yet to really settle in Baku tonight.

8 minAtletico are under a bit of pressure here as Qarabag continue to threaten. The home side are yet to create a serious chance, but they are passing with pace and purpose in the final third of the field.

11 minSo, 11 minutes on the clock, and in truth, not too much has happened. Neither goalkeeper has been worked, and neither team has caused too many problems. Atletico just cannot settle at the moment.

13 minHalf-chance for the home side as Madatov drives down the left before finding Almeida with a low cross, and the number 20's effort is deflected wide of the post. Good stuff from Qarabag there.

15 minWe have seen nothing from Griezmann in the opening 15 minutes, while Carrasco and Gameiro have also struggled to make their mark. It is the type of match where Atletico will need to be patient as they attempt to quieten the crowd. Qarabag will be delighted with their start to this one.

18 minQarabag continue to pass the ball with pace and purpose in the final third of the field. Henrique is the player that looks the most likely to make things happen, and the number 10 has just come close to finding Ndlovu with a low cross once again. Godin did well to make the clearance!

20 minAtletico's back four is so incredibly deep at the moment, which is allowing Qarabag possession in forward areas. If Qarabag score tonight, their supporters are going to take the roof off this ground.

22 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Henrique delivers a dangerous cross into the Atletico box, but there are no takers. Atletico look shell-shocked as they continue to struggle here.

24 minBit of possession for Atletico, but they are not doing too much it. Gameiro has the chance to break behind the Qarabag defence, but Sehic is out to claim at the feet of the Frenchman.

26 minHalf-chance for the away side as Gaitan finds a yard of space inside the Qarabag box, but the Argentine's effort was always rising over the crossbar. It was a nice pick-out from Luis there.

27 minCHANCE! Super chance for Atletico to take the lead as Carrasco drives into the home side's box before looking to beat Sehic, but the goalkeeper makes a brilliant save!

30 minSo, still goalless with 30 minutes on the clock, but Atletico have just started to find their feet in the final third of the field. Gaitan and Carrasco have both had chances in the last four minutes, and Qarabag are struggling for possession as we enter the final 15 minutes of the first period here.

32 minYou do get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - will be vital tonight. Atletico are really pushing at the moment, but Qarabag have had some joy on the counter over the last 60 seconds or so. Griezmann and Gameiro are just starting to find each other in the final third.

33 minHalf-chance for Qarabag as Ndlovu looks to find Madatov inside the Atletico box, but Godin is back at the vital moment to make the challenge. Down the other end, Gameiro was almost released inside the Qarabag box, only for Garayev to make a smart clearance. Still goalless in Baku.

34 minMadatov has a strike deflected just wide of the Atletico post.

36 minJust a reminder that Atletico are currently third in Group C after drawing one and losing one of their first two matches. The Madrid giants really need to win tonight, especially ahead of Chelsea against Roma, which takes place later this evening. Atletico have a free kick inside the Qarabag half...

37 min... Gabi delivers deep into the Qarabag box, it eventually falls for Saul, but his header is saved.

40 minLittle over five minutes of the first period remaining, and Qarabag will be absolutely delighted with their performance tonight. Atletico have had some good chances in the latter stages of the half, but the capital club have not exactly dominated proceedings. Simeone will not be pleased.

40 minSAVE! Sehic makes a super save to keep out Griezmann's effort from inside the box!

41 minCHANCE! Gimenez misses the post after reacting first to a corner!

43 minAtletico really should have taken the lead in the last few minutes, but we are still level in the final stages of the first period. Qarabag could do with the half-time break to just reorganise here.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Qarabag 0-0 Atletico

5.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Atletico have had the better chances, but Qarabag deserve to be level at the break after impressing in the first 45 minutes. It is a must-win game for Atletico, but we are all square at the interval here.

5.52pmSTATISTICS! Qarabag actually shaded the first-half possession with 53%, but they failed to hit the target with any of their four attempts. Atletico, on the other hand, managed three attempts on target from six shots. Griezmann, Carrasco and Gaitan have all had decent openings for the away team.

5.57pmBENCH WATCH! Atletico boss Simeone has two obvious attacking options on his bench tonight, with Angel Correa and Fernando Torres both available in the second period. Qarabag, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Amirquliyev, Elyounoussi and Guerrier. Will we see changes at the break?

46 minRESTART! Atletico resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.

49 minGriezmann sends the ball wide of the post after collecting a blocked shot from Carrasco, but the offside flag was raised. You imagine that Simeone will allow these players 10 or 15 minutes before making a change. Gameiro has really struggled to get into this match, but there is still time.

51 minPedro Henrique has the chance to break into Atletico's half of the field, but the number 10 cannot find a teammate, and the visitors can clear their lines once again. You do get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be crucial here. For the neutral, a Qarabag goal would be great.

53 minBOOKING! Michel (Qarabag) is booked for a poor tackle on Carrasco.

53 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Griezmann fires home, but the offside flag is raised!

55 minGameiro is caught offside, and that just about sums his night up. Fernando Torres will surely enter the field sooner rather than later. Angel Correa is another attacking option available for Atletico.

57 minQarabag have a penalty shout as Ndlovu goes down inside the Atletico box, but the referee is not interested. It was certainly worth a look, but it was more a coming together with Vrsaljko there.

59 minLittle over 30 minutes of football remaining here, and we are still goalless. Atletico are having more of the ball, but the home side are still pretty comfortable as they sit deep. We are entering the stage of the match where both managers will be looking at their benches and considering change.

59 minBOOKING! Ndlovu (Qarabag) is booked for a foul on Carrasco.

60 minGriezmann delivers his free kick straight into the arms of the home side's goalkeeper!

62 minSaul heads clear as Qarabag threaten in a wide position through Henrique. Atletico have had a lot of the ball early in the second period, but they are playing a very dangerous game in Baku.

64 minAlmeida's effort is straight down the throat of Oblak as Qarabag threaten once again.

64 minCHANCE! Henrique breaks into the Atletico box, but he fires wide!

65 minATLETICO SUB! Thomas replaces Gaitan in Atletico's first change.

67 minLittle over 20 minutes of football remaining here, and we are still goalless. It was not supposed to be like this for Atletico, but Qarabag have put on a very impressive performance until this point.

69 minNdlovu again breaks behind the Atletico defence, but Vrsaljko is on hand to make the clearance as the visitors escape another dangerous moment. The home side are preparing a change here.

69 minQARABAG SUB! Henrique is replaced by Guerrier for the home side.

71 minOh my word Gameiro has just been caught offside for what seems to be the 1,000th time tonight.

71 minNdlovu fires over the Atletico crossbar after showing some brilliant footwork!

72 minQARABAG SUB! Kuba replaces Medvedev for the home side.

72 minATLETICO SUBS! Correa and Torres replace Carrasco and Gameiro.

75 minYou just get the feeling that there is going to be a late sting in the tail here. Qarabag are really threatening with 75 minutes on the clock, but Atletico now have fresh legs in the final third of the field. Make no mistake about it, this would be a disastrous result for Atletico if it stays 0-0.


76 minNdlovu picks up a red card! It is a second yellow for simulation after diving inside the box!

79 minCan Atletico make the most of their one-man advantage? It would be some story if Ndlovu's card cost Qarabag the chance to pick up their first Champions League point. Ten minutes left!

81 minAtletico are on the front foot as we enter the final 10 minutes. Can Qarabag hold on for a point?

83 minYou just get the feeling that there is going to be a late goal in this one. Atletico are firmly on the front foot at the moment as they continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field.

85 minCHANCE! Big chance for Atletico as Gabs finds the head of Torres inside the home side's box, but he heads wide of the post. There might have been a push on the striker!

86 minQARABAG SUB! Elyounoussi replaces Michel for the home side.

88 minTime is running out for Atletico, and it does appear that they are going to drop a big two points here, which would leave them playing catch-up to Chelsea and Roma with three games left.

90 minI should not imagine that there will be too much added time tonight.

90+1 minThomas cannot find Correa inside the Qarabag box, and more seconds tick on here. Elyounoussi then has a strike down the other end, and just misses the crossbar!

90+2 minWe are into the second of two additional minutes, and Qarabag fancy winning this!

90+3 minAtletico have a free kick in a dangerous area as we enter the final moments of this one.

90+5 minQarabag have nine men as Huseynov is stretched off! Griezmann fires wide from the free kick!

90+6 minFULL-TIME: Qarabag 0-0 Atletico

6.53pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with the two teams sharing the points in a goalless draw. What a result for Qarabag! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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