UEFA Europa League – Lokomotiv Moskva-Atlético – Lokomotiv Moskva v Atlético background
Two-time UEFA Europa League winners Atlético Madrid continue their pursuit of a record-equalling third triumph with a visit to Lokomotiv Moskva, having defeated the Russian Premier League leaders 3-0 at home in the first leg.
• Lokomotiv won both legs of their round of 32 tie against Nice – 3-2 in the south of France and 1-0 in the Russian capital – after topping Group F in the autumn.
• Having crossed over from the UEFA Champions League after finishing third in their group, Atlético easily disposed of Danish champions FC København in the round of 32, also winning both legs – 4-1 in Copenhagen and 1-0 in Madrid – with UEFA Europa League scoring specialist Kevin Gameiro on target in both games.
• Atlético posted the biggest first-leg victory in the round of 16 with their 3-0 win at the Estadio Metropolitano. A stunning long-range strike from Saúl Ñíguez midway through the first half set the home side on their way before second-half goals from Diego Costa – on his first European appearance of the season – and Koke.
• The two clubs had met once in European competition before the first leg, sharing a 3-3 draw in Moscow on matchday one of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Peter Odemwingie (two) scored for Lokomotiv, with star South American strikers Sergio Agüero (two) and Diego Forlán replying for Atlético.
• Lokomotiv have won just two of eight matches against Spanish opposition in Moscow, most famously defeating Real Madrid 2-0 on matchday six of the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage – albeit against a Madrid side that had already qualified for the next round.
• Their other victory came in the most recent encounter – 2-1 against Athletic Club in the first leg of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32 – and ended a run of four successive defeats at home to Spanish clubs. However, a 1-0 reverse in the Bilbao return knocked Lokomotiv out.
• Atlético have never lost in Russia (W3 D2). However, although they won on their last visit to Moscow, 1-0 against Rubin Kazan in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32, it was insufficient to prolong their defence of the trophy following a 0-2 first-leg reverse in Madrid.
• The Spanish club’s most recent visit to Russia came last season on matchday three of the UEFA Champions League, when they won 1-0 at FC Rostov.
• Lokomotiv have won only four of their last nine European fixtures in Moscow, losing three, but in this season’s UEFA Europa League they have won three – against FC Zlín (3-0), FC København (2-1) and Nice (1-0) – and lost one – to FC Sheriff (1-2).
• Lokomotiv qualified for this competition by winning the 2016/17 Russian Cup – with a 2-0 victory against Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast in the final – and have now progressed from the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage four times out of five.
• The Moscow club are through to the round of 16 for the first time at the fourth attempt, having lost in the round of 32 to Sevilla in 2005/06 (UEFA Cup), Athletic Club in 2011/12 and Fenerbahçe in 2015/16. Their most successful European campaigns were in 1997/98 and 1998/99 when, under current coach Yuri Semin, they reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup two years running.
• UEFA Europa League victors in 2010 and 2012, Atlético are making their first appearance in the competition in five years. Since then Diego Simeone’s side have participated in two UEFA Champions League finals and reached the quarter-finals and semi-finals in two other seasons.
• Atlético have won all three of their UEFA Europa League fixtures this term. They ended a five-match winless run on the road in Europe – which included draws in all three of this season’s UEFA Champions League away games, at Roma (0-0), Qarabağ (0-0) and Chelsea (1-1) – with their 4-1 victory over København in the round of 32.
• The Madrid club are on a run of six successive away wins in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase. Indeed, their only loss in ten such fixtures (W7 D2), a 2-1 defeat after extra time against Liverpool in the 2009/10 semi-final second leg, still sent them through to the final on the away goals rule. They were also victorious on the road in the finals of 2010 (Hamburg) and 2012 (Bucharest).
• Atlético finished third in the Spanish Liga last season, and this is only the second time in eight attempts that they have failed to progress beyond the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. However, on the only other occasion, in 2009/10, they went on to win the inaugural UEFA Europa League.
• Lokomotiv have only once recovered to win a European tie after an away defeat in the first leg – in a 2003/04 UEFA Champions League qualifier against Shakhtar Donetsk (0-1 away, 3-1 home). They have been unsuccessful on the other seven such occasions, twice after 3-0 defeats including their inaugural European tie, against Juventus in the first round of the 1993/94 UEFA Cup (0-1 home). On the first six occasions that they lost the first leg away, they also lost the second leg at home, that unfortunate sequence remaining intact until the 3-1 victory against Shakhtar.
• Atlético have won 29 of the 36 UEFA competition ties in which they have prevailed in the home first leg – including all of the last 17, most recently against Leicester in last season’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final (1-0 home, 1-1 away).
• When the home first leg has finished 3-0, Atlético’s record is four qualifications out of four, their most prominent such triumph having occurred in 1991/92, when they overcame holders Manchester United in the second round of the European Cup Winners’ Cup (1-1 away).
Links and trivia
• Lokomotiv are one of only four teams in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 to have never played in a European final: the others are RB Leipzig, Viktoria Plzeň and Lyon.
• Lokomotiv are also one of only four clubs remaining in the competition that have never previously been involved in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. Leipzig, Milan and Arsenal make up the quartet.
• Atlético are the only former UEFA Europa League winners present in the round of 16, although two other remaining participants, CSKA Moskva and Zenit, have lifted the same trophy in its former guise as the UEFA Cup.
• Stefan Savić captained Montenegro in a 2-0 away defeat against Russia in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying in October 2015; Igor Denisov played 90 minutes for the hosts.
• Gameiro’s two goals in the round of 32 lifted his all-time UEFA Europa League goal tally to 19, the previous 17 having all been scored for Sevilla, with whom he was a three-time winner of the competition. Only three other players – Radamel Falcao (30), Aritz Aduriz (26) and Óscar Cardozo (20) – have registered more goals in the competition, group stage to final.
• Manuel Fernandes has scored two hat-tricks in this season’s UEFA Europa League, the first on matchday two in a 3-0 home win against Zlín. He is the seventh player to have scored more than one hat-trick in the competition and the fourth to have done so in the same season. Falcao holds the record with three in one campaign, for Porto in 2010/11.
• Fernandes is one of three Lokomotiv players – along with Solomon Kverkvelia and Igor Denisov – to have played every minute of this UEFA Europa League campaign. Vladislav Ignatyev has started all nine matches.
• Lokomotiv Moskva’s record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L1:
3-4 v Lausanne, 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-off
• Atlético’s record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L4:
6-7 v Derby, 1974/75 UEFA Cup second round
1-3 v Fiorentina, 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round
1-3 v Villarreal, 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup final
3-2 v Leverkusen, 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16
8-7 v PSV Eindhoven, 2015/16 UEFA Champions League round of 16
3-5 v Real Madrid, 2015/16 UEFA Champions League final
• Now 70, Yuri Semin took charge of Lokomotiv for a fourth time in August 2016, having lifted the club’s only two Russian titles during his second stint from 1992 to 2005, and promptly steered the side to Russian Cup glory. He also played for the club, from 1975 to 1977, and coached Dynamo Kyiv to the 2008/09 Ukrainian league title in the first of two spells there.
• Diego Simeone has been the Atlético coach since December 2011, and has added five trophies to the club’s collection, including the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League, as well as steering the Madrid club to the UEFA Champions League finals of 2014 and 2016. The combative ex-Argentina midfielder also had two spells at Atlético as a player, winning the Spanish double in 1995/96.