MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 09:09:06

Result: Atletico Madrid held by Qarabag in Baku

Atletico Madrid are held to a goalless draw by Qarabag in Wednesday night's Champions League group match in Baku.

Atletico Madrid have been 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.

A bright start to the match from Qarabag saw Dino Ndlovu cause Atletico's back four problems with his pace and movement, and the visitors struggled to settle inside the atmospheric stadium.

Qarabag's first half-chance of the night came in the 11th minute when Mahir Madatov found Richard Almeida inside the Atletico box, but the number 20's effort was blocked behind.

Atletico, on the other hand, were really struggling in the final third of the field, with Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco finding it difficult to influence proceedings in Baku.

Nico Gaitan had a half-chance in the 25th minute after being found by Filipe Luis inside the Qarabag box, but the Argentine's effort landed in the stands as the Group C clash remained goalless.

Two minutes later, Carrasco had a brilliant opportunity after driving into the Qarabag box, but the Belgium international could not find a route past the home side's goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic.

Madatov had a decent strike deflected wide of the Atletico post 10 minutes before the end of the first period, before Saul Niguez headed into the arms of Sehic down the other end, but the best two chances of the first half came in the final minutes.

Griezmann had the first after dancing into the Qarabag box, but Sehic was down to make a fine save. Jose Gimenez was next to come close from the resulting corner, with the centre-back firing wide of the post from close range.

Griezmann had the ball in the back of the Qarabag net in the 53rd minute, but the offside flag denied the Frenchman a goal in the early stages of the second period.

Almeida had the home side's first attempt of the second half just past the hour, but the midfielder's effort was straight down the throat of Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, before Pedro Henrique sliced wide from a good position moments later.

Ndlovu fired over the Atletico crossbar from an advanced position 20 minutes from time, and that prompted a double change from the visitors as Fernando Torres and Angel Correa entered the field.

Qarabag were reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute when Ndlovu picked up a second yellow card for a perceived dive inside the Atletico box, which handed a big advantage to the visitors ahead of the final stages.

Torres headed just wide of the Qarabag post five minutes from time as Atletico passed up a massive chance, before Tarik Elyounoussi came close for the home side down the other end.

Qarabag actually finished the game with nine men as Badavi Huseynov was stretchered off the field, but the home side held on to secure their first ever point in the group stage of the Champions League.

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Diego Simeone gestures during the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on May 28, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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