Reebok Memories: Bolton Shock Atletico Madrid

  • May 22, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Two days before Atletico Madrid play in the UEFA Champions League final, we look back at the night they came unstuck at the Reebok Stadium.

With Reebok's near quarter-century affiliation with Bolton set to end in July, we have stepped back in time to recap some of your favourite Reebok Memories.

On February 14, 2008, Atletico arrived at the Reebok for the first leg of a UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie against Gary Megson's Wanderers.

After topping a group consisting of themselves, Panathinaikos, Aberdeen, FC Copenhagen and Lokomotiv Moscow, Atletico were overwhelming favourites to beat Bolton and progress to a last 16 tie against either Sporting Lisbon or FC Basel.

Things didn't go according to plan for the Spanish giants, who had goalkeeper Christian Abbiati to thank for keeping out three separate attempts from Matt Taylor inside the opening 10 minutes.

A wreckless challenge from El-Hadji Diouf on Simao saw him enter the referee's book, before Wanderers stayed on level terms as Jussi Jaaskelainen did superbly well to parry away a close-range header from Antonio Lopez, who had got on the end of a free-kick from former Arsenal forward Jose Antonio Reyes.

Taylor and Kevin Davies both came close for Bolton in the closing stages of the first half, but Abbiati ensured the two sides went in goalless at the break.

With more than 26,000 supporters in the stands, the atmosphere was electric at the Reebok and that seemed to intimidate Atletico after the break as Wanderers went on to claim a surprise victory.

Diego Forlan cleared the crossbar by inches in the early stages of the second period, but that was as good as it got for the visitors - who had substitute Sergio Aguero sent off within 14 minutes of his introduction. The FIFA Young Player of the Year, who now plays for Manchester City, was alleged to have spat at the assistant referee in reaction to a foul on Taylor.

Once the Spanish protests had died down and play continued, it took Bolton less than 60 seconds to make their man-advantage count as Taylor's deflected shot fell kindly for Diouf to stroke into the bottom corner of Abbiati's net.

Comfortable with their 1-0 lead, and up against 10 men, Wanderers played out the game without any threat from their so-called superior opposition. The return leg took place at Atletico's Vicente Calderon Stadium the following week, where a goalless draw set up a last 16 tie between Bolton and Sporting Lisbon.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel, Diouf, Campo, Guthrie (Giannakopoulos 59), Taylor, Nolan, Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Meite, J O'Brien, Teymourian, Vaz Te, Sinclair
Booked: Diouf
Goals: Diouf 74

Atletico Madrid: Abbiati, Antonio Lopez, Perea, Pernia, Ibanez, Santana, Simao (Jurado 72), Reyes (Aguero 59), Mista (Miguel 88), Rodriguez, Forlan
Subs Not Used: Falcon, Dominguez, Fabiano Eller, Quillo
Booked: Santana
Sent Off: Aguero

Referee: Peter Rasmussen
Attendance: 26,163

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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