Liverpool 2 Atletico Madrid 1 (2-2 agg)

Last updated : 30 April 2010 By Footymad Previewer

Atletico Madrid ended dreams of an all-English Europa League final as they beat Liverpool on away goals after extra-time, with a tense semi-final tie ending 2-2 on aggregate.

The first leg in Spain ended 1-0 to Atletico, who welcomed back Argentina striker Sergio Aguero for the second leg following suspension, while the Reds had Dirk Kuyt fit to start after shaking off a knock.

Yossi Benayoun brought a save from visiting keeper David De Gea within ten seconds of the kick-off, as Liverpool forced a number of early corners.

Eleven minutes in a 20-yard strike from Alberto Aquilani was straight at De Gea, as the home side continued to dominate proceedings.

With 19 minutes played Jose Reina had to get down smartly to push a long-range Raul Garcia drive away and seven minutes later Kuyt shot over from six yards after a superb passing move had opened up the Spanish defence.

Aguero then threatened to score at the other end, being forced wide by Reina and unable to get an attempt in on goal, before Daniel Agger's header was chalked off due to a correct offside call.

With just over a minute to half-time the Reds levelled the tie as Benayoun's ball in from the right found Aquliani, who fired a low shot just inside the near post from 12 yards to leave De Gea well beaten.

Shortly after the restart Simao shot over from 20 yards for the visitors, before the Reds again began to call the shots.

Kuyt's drive did little to trouble De Gea just past the hour mark, with the tie evenly poised and heading to extra-time at this point.

Atletico were now enjoying a little more of the game and 15 minutes from time Raul Garcia rifled a long-range effort over the top. Glen Johnson then threatened at the other end, forcing De Gea to tip over a 25-yard right-footer.

Late on Diego Forlan just failed to control the ball after breaking the offside trap and tie headed into extra-time.

Five minutes into the extra 30 Lucas' fine pass out to the left found Benayoun and he drilled a low, left-foot shot just inside De Gea's far post to give Liverpool the lead on the night and on aggregate.

Gerardo came within a whisker as the first half of extra-time drew to a close and shortly afterwards Atletico struck back to level the aggregate scores.

Jose Antonio Reyes crossed in from the right and Forlan stole in to blast the ball home past the stranded Reina from eight yards out and give his side the advantage on away goals.

Simao had a chance to settle the issue in the second period of extra-time, but it mattered little at the final whistle as Atletico celebrated a place in the final.