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Costa the star as Atletico qualify for Champions League quarter-finals

English.news.cn   2014-03-12 07:53:04

MADRID, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid booked their place in the quarter-final of the Champions League thanks to a 4-1 win at home to AC Milan on Tuesday night.

Apart for a 15 minute period at the end of the first half, Atletico rarely looked as if their place in the last eight was in danger, but the ticket to the quarter-finals was not sealed until Raul Garcia scored his side's third goal of the night with 20 minutes left in the game.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg in the San Siro Stadium, Atletico got off to an almost perfect start when Diego Costa produced an acrobatic finish from Koke's cross to put Atletico ahead on the night and 2-0 up on aggregate.

There was a spectacular atmosphere in the Vicente Calderon Stadium and Atletico carried the weight of the game, almost doubling their lead when Diego Godin headed close to the Milan post following a corner.

However, the game swung Milan's way when former Real Madrid midfielder, Kaka, showed he had lost none of his talent to frustrate his former neighbors when he headed home a measured center from Andrea Poli from the right wing.

The Milan game changed the complexion of the tie as a second goal would have given the Italians the advantage on away goals and the visitors looked to score that all-important second goal in the closing minutes of the half.

Atletico suddenly looked nervous and began to lose too many balls in their own half and as a result of that Kaka was inches away from scoring his second of the night as he headed another accurate cross over the Atletico bar.

Once again things swung Atletico's way five minutes before the break when Arda Turam's shot from the edge of the area took enough of a deflection off Adil Rami to take it into the back of the Milan goal.

Moments later Raul Garcia's overhead kick was close to making it 3-1 on the night.

Milan replaced Abel Taraabt at the start of the second half, but again it was Atletico who were closest to scoring as a shot from Gabi Fernandez clipped the outside of the post.

The second half saw both sides open up as Milan pressed for an equalizer while Atletico, led by a hard-working Gabi, looked for a decisive third goal.

While Milan failed to trouble Thibaut Courtois and were limited to a series of long range shorts, Diego Costa continued to cause havoc for the home side, constantly causing the Milan defense to back-peddle.

It was Garcia who score the third goal as he headed in another cross from the right with 20 minutes left in the game.

Although Robinho hit the post shortly afterwards , there was no way back for Milan and Costa made it 4-1 with a low finish in the 84th minute to start the party in Madrid.

Editor: Yang Lina
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