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Tomàs / PHOTO: Atlético de Madrid

The first match ball between Barça Intersport and Atlético Madrid lived up to expectations. The Blaugrana, with an especially inspired Rutenka, came close to breaking through the defensive web of the Madrid-based side but it wasn’t enough to win the away leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

The first half saw both teams trade blows equally until the break. However, the home team managed to take a three-goal lead on two occasions. José Javier Hombrados was solid in goal and Cañellas was firing from long distance, but the Blaugrana reacted perfectly and reached the break with 11 to 10 on the scoreboard.

Atlético take the match

The home team did well to shut down Barça’s attack in the second half. In fact, the Blaugrana went four whole minutes without scoring, while Atlético took a 23 to 17 lead.

Barça were forced to do something in order to have a chance of making it to the next round of the competition, so Xavi Pascual urged his men forward, but Ivano Balic was up to the task and he stopped the comeback attempt. The game came to an end with 25 to 20 on the scoreboard.

Barça Intersport will host Atlético Madrid for the return leg on Saturday.

MATCH FACTS

25 - Atlético de Madrid: Hombrados; Roberto García (4), Lazarov (6, 3p), Balic (4), Cañellas (6), Kallman (1) and Aginagalde (2) -starting team- Dahl (ps), Miguel Sánchez (-), Edu Fernández (-), Ferrer (-), Romero (-), Davis (1), Jurkiewicz (1) and Masachs (-)

20 - Barcelona Intersport: Sterbik; Víctor Tomás (2), Gurbindo (-), Sorhaindo (3), Jernemyr (-), Morros (-) and Juanín García (2) -starting team- Saric (ps), Noddesbo (-), Raúl Entrerríos (1), Sarmiento (2), Montoro (-), Aguirrezabalaga (1), Rutenka (6, 1p), Stranovsky (2) and Rocas (1p)

Referee:  Horacek and Novotny.

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