Atletico too good for Dons
Forlan penalty and Simao free-kick enough for Spaniards
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: 29/11/07 10:33pm
Forlan: Opened the scoring
A goal either side of half-time gave Atletico Madrid a hard-fought 2-0 win over Aberdeen in their Uefa Cup Group B encounter.
The Spanish side dominated early on at the Vicente Calderon, but they could not find a way through as Aberdeen held tight.
The breakthrough came just before the break as Diego Forlan slotted home from the penalty spot after Sergio Aguero was brought down.
The second came on the hour when Simao Sabrosa's free-kick came back off the post and deflected in off the unfortunate Jamie Langfield.
Aberdeen had won all three of their previous encounters with Spanish sides down the years, including that famous night in 1983 when they beat Real Madrid to win the Cup Winners' Cup under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Jimmy Calderwood challenged the current crop of players to emulate the club's great European nights against Atletico, but it was not to be in the end as they were beaten by a dominant home side.
Atletico went close through former Liverpool forward Luis Garcia in the opening minute, before Mariano Pernia struck the inside of Langfield's left-hand post with a 25-yard effort two minutes later.
Aguero then broke through the Aberdeen defence in the seventh minute, with only a last-gasp tackle by Richie Byrne denying the in-form Argentinian a clear shot on goal.
Atletico goalkeeper Christian Abbiati was finally given something serious to deal with in the 27th minute when he was forced to dive low to his right to keep out Scott Severin's long-range free-kick, but otherwise it was all the home side.
Luis Garcia twice went close before the Rojiblancos finally took the lead right on the stroke of half-time.
Aguero was brought down inside the area by the sliding Michael Hart and former Manchester United striker Forlan stepped up to send Langfield the wrong way from the spot.
The hosts continued to boss the game at the start of the second half, and forced several corners which, to be fair to the visitors, were fairly comfortably dealt with by the Aberdeen defence.
The home side actually looked to be running out of ideas when, thanks to a stroke of luck, they netted their second goal on the hour-mark.
Simao stepped forward after Atletico had won a free-kick 25 yards out, and although his effort struck the inside of Aberdeen's right-hand post, the rebound then hit the diving Langfield before nestling into the net.
It was an unfortunate way to concede for Aberdeen, but Atletico were probably worth their two-goal lead after dominating both possession and territory.
The Dons had a great chance to pull a goal back with 20 minutes to go after winning a corner on the left.
The ball in found its way through to the far post where Lee Miller was standing unmarked, but the 24-year-old failed to get a decent connection on his shot with the goal at his mercy.
De Visscher then went close a few minutes later with an effort that just cleared Abbiati's crossbar, although it looked to be more of an attempted cross that the substitute had miscued.
After being on the back foot for most of the match, Aberdeen were beginning to look more threatening, although at 2-0 down they had little choice but to push men forward.
Aberdeen continued to look the more dangerous side in the closing stages, and Chris Clark sent a shot from the edge of the area just over the bar with Abbiati motionless.
That was as good as it would get for the Scottish side though, and Atletico saw out the final 10 minutes with few scares.
Thu 29th Nov - Group A
Zenit2 - 2Nurnberg
AZ Alkmaar1 - 0Larissa
Thu 29th Nov - Group C
Elfsborg1 - 3Mlada Boleslav
AEK Athens1 - 1Fiorentina
Thu 29th Nov - Group E
Sp Prague0 - 0Spartak Mos
FC Zurich2 - 0Toulouse
Thu 29th Nov - Group B
Lokomotiv0 - 1FC Cop'hagen
A Madrid2 - 0Aberdeen
Thu 29th Nov - Group D
Hamburg3 - 0Rennes
Brann2 - 1Din Zagreb
Thu 29th Nov - Group H
Panionios0 - 3Galatasaray
Helsingborgs3 - 0Austria Vienna
Thu 29th Nov - Group G
Tottenham3 - 2Aalborg
Getafe1 - 2Hap Tel-Aviv
Thu 29th Nov - Group F
Bolton1 - 1Aris Salonika
Braga1 - 1Bay Munich
Europa League Group A
Europa League Group B
Europa League Group C
|1||Red Bull Salzburg||6||18|
Europa League Group D
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Europa League Group F
|2||Maccabi Tel Aviv||6||11|
Europa League Group G
Europa League Group H
Europa League Group I
|3||Vitoria de Guimaraes||6||5|
Europa League Group J
Europa League Group K
|3||Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol)||6||6|
Europa League Group L
|3||Maccabi Haifa (Isr)||6||5|