Well aware of how much of a risk he was taking, he did it anyway. One yellow card racked up six minutes prior, and he makes a tackle like that; in moments he was sent off.
Fernando Torres, the favorite child of club Atlético Madrid, had scored a crucial early goal against Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinals matchup, but in the second half, he made two terrible decisions and got himself a red card.
There was just one red card in this pivotal match, but there should have been two; the official missed Luis Suarez take a kick at Juanfran, a rather serious offense, and that error led to Atlético’s downfall. With their main source of goals gone, Atleti were a deer in Barca’s headlights, especially when their fullbacks got sent up front to join the attack.
Two goals from Suarez, and Camp Nou was going crazy (although they’d been going absolutely ballistic all game) and Atlético Madrid lost signs of life, despite being a side that is still a threat when down a man (or even two).
Having scored a crucial away goal, Atlético don’t have a very big hole to dig themselves out of, and when Barcelona assemble on the pitch at the Vicente Calderon next week, they should expect 11 men to fight harder than they’ve seen all year, 11 men who have nothing to lose.
They’re already down a goal, and face one of the best soccer teams ever assembled. Having made fantasy a reality when they beat out Barcelona and Real Madrid for La Liga two years ago, Atlético Madrid know exactly what to do.
They say it’s easier said than done, but this Madrid club have been there, done that. Why not once more?