December 27, 2014
Neymar rescues Barca from Atletico reverse, Bayern salvage draw
An exquisite goal from Neymar rescued a 1-1 draw for Barcelona after substitute Diego had put La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid ahead in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
A stunning 35-metre strike from Diego put Atletico in the driving seat after 56 minutes but Barcelona, aiming for their seventh successive semi-final appearance, hit back with a bending effort from Neymar 15 minutes later.
Atletico lost their talisman in attack, Diego Costa, to injury early on although they still had the better chances in the first half through David Villa.
It has been a remarkable season for La Liga leaders Atletico and they showed typical resistance befor Barca found a way through when Andres Iniesta played in Neymar and he curled the ball round keeper Thibaut Courtois.
Manchester United and Bayern Munich battled to a 1-1 draw in the other Champions League quarter-final first leg, as the visitors finished with 10 men after goalscorer Bastian Schweinsteiger was sent off.
Schweinsteiger, who fired home Bayern's equaliser in the 66th minute, was dismissed in the 90th for collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Wayne Rooney.
United took the lead in the 58th minute when the unmarked Nemanja Vidic stretched to clinically head a Rooney corner past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Bayern equalised when Schweinsteiger, who will be suspended for the second leg, was left unmarked on a break and lashed the ball into the roof of David De Gea's net after substitute Mario Mandzukic nodded a cross from Rafinha into his path.
United had the ball in the net after five minutes when Danny Welbeck slammed home a rising shot from 15 metres but Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo had already ruled that Welbeck raised his foot too high in a challenge with Javi Martinez.