A nail-biting, wire-to-wire match, Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen battled for 120 minutes but neither could gain a decided edge before the Spanishside claimed a 3-2 victory on penalties Tuesday at Vicente Calderon Stadium.
Madrid progress to the quarterfinals on the 1-1 aggregate, joining Monaco who advanced despite dropping the second leg to Arsenal 2-0 earlier in the day.
Madrid substitute goalkeeper Jan Oblak would enter in the 23rd minute for the injured Miguel Moya, and notch three total saves and two more stops during penalties to carry his team into the quarterfinals.
Forward Fernando Torres would sew up the victory, beating Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno with a penalty to the top right corner. Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiebling nearly forced more kicks by matching Torres , but his shot went wide left past Oblak.
Midfielder Mario Suarez pulled Los Rojiblancos even on aggregate with a left-footed strike near the top of the penalty area in the 27th minute off a perfectly timed header assist from Cani.
Koke’s free kick pinged high above Leverkusen’s area, and the German side nearly cleared it, but Cani directly headed the ball to Spanish midfielder’s foot for the one-timer and lead. It was the first goal of the tournament for Suarez and first assist for Cani in the first Champions League appearance of the term.
Madrid’s attack was relentless for major stretches, but credit belongs to manager Roget Schmidt’s back line, fending off 11 total corner kicks from the Spanish side and keeper Leno positioning himself well throughout for three saves.