UCL Results, Highlights: Costa led Atletico Thrash Milan, Bayern Knock Out Arsenal Again

IMAGE, CLUBATLETICOMADRID.COM

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

It was going to take a massive performance from AC Milan if they were to advance in the Champions League. Unfortunately for the Italian side, the massive performance came from the home side as Atletico Madrid, led by a Diego Costa brace, pummeled the visitors. Milan now heads back to Italy with their tail between their legs after a 4-1 loss (5-1 aggregate).

Costa gave Atletico the advantage heading into the second leg after scoring a late headed goal at the San Siro. He was again the star man for the Spanish side. Costa now has seven goals in the competition.

After just three minutes, Milan found themselves in a bigger hole to climb out of. Koke lofted the ball into the Milan box towards the back post. Costa pounced into the air and got his left boot to the ball, toe poking it in.

Milan’s fight back was given a glimmer of hope after Kaka’s 27th minute goal. Andrea Poli floated a cross towards the back post and Kaka met it with his head. After taking a deflection off of Atletico defender Francisco Juanfran’s thigh, the ball found it’s way into the net.

From then on, Atletico overpowered the visiting side. Costa chested down a long ball into Arda Turan’s path. The Turkish midfielder took a touch of his thigh and then smacked a half volley that took a deflection off of Milan defender Adil Rami and into the net, leaving Christian Abbiati with no chance five minutes from the halftime break.

Atletico added a third goal in the 70th minute when Raul Garcia rose above two defenders to head home Gabi’s cross. Costa then completed the miserable affair for Milan, rifling in a shot off the far post in the 85th minute.

Atletico Madrid remains unbeaten in the competition and will be one side no one wants to face in the next round. This is the furthest Atletico has been in the competition since 1997.

Here are the highlights:

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Other Champions League Results

1. Bayern Too Strong For Gunners– Arsenal were looking to overturn another deficit against the Bundesliga leaders. In the end, Bayern were too strong, advancing to the quarterfinal after a 1-1 draw in Munich (3-1 agg).

From the outset, Bayern controlled the game, making life difficult for the Gunners. Arsenal created very little going forward, except for a few daring runs with the ball from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who along with Lukasz Fabianski were Arsenal’s best players on the night.

With the score line still 0-0 at halftime, it appeared Arsenal still had some chance, even though a first half goal would have rattled Bayern’s cages.

It was the German giants who eventually found a breakthrough with a 54th minute goal from Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German midfielder finished off Franck Ribeiry’s cross to seemingly bury Arsenal in the tie.

However, Arsenal’s hopes of an incredible comeback were back on after Lukas Podolski scored three minutes later. It appeared that Podolski lightly shoved Philipp Lahm, but no call was made. Podolski continued his charge into the box and unleashed a powerful drive over Manuel Nuer’s shoulder.

Arsenal’s attack finally got in gear and pressured Bayern, but couldn’t find more goals.

Bayern on the other hand nearly had a second leg victory. Arjen Robben, who really disgraced the game with several dives, was awarded a free kick after it was deemed Laurent Koscielny fouled him in the box. However, Fabianski was able to just about keep Thomas Muller’s spot kick out of the net as the ball rested just on the goal line before the Polish keeper was able to knock it away.

Although it wasn’t as galvanizing as a result as last year for the Gunners, they will hope a draw in Munich catapults them into success for the Premier League run-in and the rest of their FA Cup run.

Bayern has already all but clinched a Bundesliga title, sitting 20 points clear. With the form they are in, they look the favorites of winning the Champions League and becoming the first club since 1990 to defend their title.

Here are the match highlights:

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