Madrid, November 29: Atletico Madrid punched their ticket to the Champions League knockout stage with a comfortable 2-0 win against AS Monaco.
The Monaco squad that took the field at Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Wednesday bore little resemblance to the side that won Ligue 1 and got as far as the Champions League semifinals a few years ago, reports Efe news. Watch Atletico Madrid vs AS Monaco, UEFA Champions League 2018–19 Video Highlights Here.
And the only holdover from that team, striker Radamel Falcao started the match on the bench as new coach Thierry Henry was reluctant to risk injury to a player he needs if Monaco is to have any chance of climbing out of the Ligue 1 cellar.
Atleti led less than 2 minutes into Wednesday's contest after Koke's seemingly harmless shot from outside the area took a deflection off Monaco defender Loic Badiashile and into the net.
The advantage grew to 2-0 in the 24th minute on a strike by Antoine Griezmann, who has either scored or assisted on 20 of Atletico's last 24 goals in Champions League play.
Henry turned to Falcao in the 54th minute and the former Atletico man got a warm reception from the crowd at the Wanda Metropolitano, who haven't forgotten his 70 goals in 91 appearances for the Colchoneros in 2011-13.
Monaco's only solid chances of the match were created by Falcao. Shortly after coming on, he put a shot on target, though his half-volley went straight into the waiting hands of Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Inside the final 10 minutes, Falcao drew a foul from Stefan Savic and the referee awarded a penalty, but the Colombian great failed to convert.