Atlético Madrid sneaks past Inter Milan in dramatic penalty shootout to snatch last Champions League quarterfinals spot

Atlético Madrid claimed the final spot in this year’s Champions League quarterfinals after completing a dramatic comeback victory against last season’s runner-up Inter Milan on Wednesday.

The aggregate scores were level 2-2 after a rollercoaster match at the Metropolitano Stadium, with the Spanish side winning the resulting penalty shootout 3-2.

Atlético’s hero was goalkeeper Jan Oblak, after he saved penalties from Alexis Sánchez and Davy Klaassen, before Inter’s captain Lautaro Martínez missed the target.

“A wonderful night. It’s always nice when you win,” Oblak told TNT Sports after the match. “I’m very, very happy for the team because I think we did a great match, we played well.

“I think penalties in the end is a lottery. You can see all the videos, you can do everything and then, in the end, the player decides where he’s going to shoot, and many times, they change, so I change as well.

“Today, luckily, I stopped two. I’m happy about that. It’s not easy to stop a penalty. Sometimes, it looks easy from the outside, but inside, it’s not so easy.”

Jan Oblak was the hero for Atlético after saving two penalties in the shootout. - David Ramos/Getty Images
Jan Oblak was the hero for Atlético after saving two penalties in the shootout. - David Ramos/Getty Images

Already 1-0 down from the first leg in Italy, Atleti found itself two goals behind after Federico Dimarco finished off a flowing team move in the 33rd minute.

Roared on by the home support, the Colchoneros didn’t panic and pulled one back just two minutes later through the impressive Antoine Griezmann.

Memphis Depay’s late strike in the 87th minute then forced extra-time where both teams had chances to win it.

But with the aggregate score still level, the game concluded with a dramatic penalty shootout where Atlético held its nerve.

Earlier on Wednesday, Borussia Dortmund beat PSV 2-0 (3-1 on aggregate) to secure its place in the final eight of the competition where it will join Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Atleti and PSG.

The quarterfinal and semifinal draws are set to take place on Friday, where teams will discover their potential route to the final in London’s Wembley Stadium on June 1.

Reigning champion Manchester City remains the only team to win all of its games in this season’s Champions League. Real Madrid is also unbeaten, but it drew with RB Leipzig in its last-16 second-leg tie, progressing into the quarterfinals on aggregate.

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