Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid celebrates scoring against Barcelona on Wednesday night as they advanced to the Champions League semi-finals. Alex Grimm / Bongarts / Getty Images / April 13, 2016
Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid celebrates scoring against Barcelona on Wednesday night as they advanced to the Champions League semi-finals. Alex Grimm / Bongarts / Getty Images / April 13, 2016

Diego Simeone hails his Atletico, embodying ‘values that are less and less common in society’



Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (3-2 aggregate)

Atletico Madrid dumped holders Barcelona out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the second time in three seasons as Antoine Griezmann's double sealed a 2-0 win on Wednesday to progress 3-2 on aggregate.

Griezmann put the hosts ahead on away goals with a fine first-half header before converting from the penalty spot two minutes from time after Andres Iniesta had handled inside the area.

Barca, meanwhile, were left to rue referee Nicola Rizzoli’s decision to give a free-kick on the edge of the box in injury time instead of a penalty when Gabi appeared to be inside the area as he was penalised for handball.

“I am not left with just a place in the semi-finals, I think it is much more important than that,” said Atletico manager Diego Simeone.

“This group displays values that are less and less common in society. We can win or lose, but we believe in these values that are important in life and once again we have won a tremendously difficult game.”

Defeat is Barca’s third in four games after a 39-match unbeaten run stretching back six months and sees their quest to become the first side to retain the trophy in the Champions League era come to an end.

“The team wanted to retain the title, it was one of our objectives and excited every Barca fan, but it isn’t to be,” said Barca coach Luis Enrique.

“We are finding it much more difficult than normal to score goals and suffering defensively too.

“We all have to improve and I’m the first one in that regard.”

Read more: La Liga in focus – Barcelona must restore earlier shine to reclaim title authority

Also see: Barcelona and Atletico Madrid proving great rivals, and great contrasts, for these times, writes Andy Mitten

Atletico will be joined by local rivals Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich in Friday's semi-final draw.

Roared on by a vociferous 55,000-strong crowd at the Vicente Calderon, Atletico were worthy winners as Barca's star front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were limited to precious few clear-cut chances.

The home side were far the better team before the break as captain Gabi fired over before Griezmann placed his first big headed chance from Filipe Luis’ cross too close to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Messi’s most significant involvement in the first 45 minutes saw him scurrying deep into his own half to dispossess Yannick Carrasco in a sign of the five-time World Player of the Year’s desperation to get into the game.

Atletico made the all-important breakthrough nine minutes before half-time when Griezmann’s header was this time precise and powerful enough to beat Ter Stegen from Saul Niguez’s brilliant cross.

Ter Stegen ensured Barca went in at the break just one goal down as he held a Carrasco drive at the second attempt before Niguez could follow in for the rebound.

Atletico had two more chances to extend their advantage early in the second period as Koke’s cut-back was cut out by Gerard Pique with Griezmann waiting for a tap in.

And then as Barca struggled to clear a corner, Niguez’s looping header came back off the crossbar with Ter Stegen stranded.

Griezmann had another chance to give Atletico a cushion but fired straight at Ter Stegen on his weaker right foot at the end of a lightning counter-attack.

However, Barca began to impose themselves in the final half-hour as Atletico tired and Suarez tested Jan Oblak with a fierce effort from inside the area that the Slovenian handled impressively.

Suarez was lucky to escape a red card in the first leg after clashing with Juanfran and Filipe Luis and got off lightly once more when he was just shown a yellow card for elbowing Uruguayan international teammate Diego Godin.

Neymar was also booked for kicking out at Juanfran moments later as Barca began to lose their cool.

Iniesta too was lucky not to be sent-off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity as he blocked Filipe Luis’ pass into Griezmann’s path for the penalty.

The French international kept his head to slot home the resulting spot-kick.

However, there was still time for late controversy as Rizzoli only awarded Barca a free-kick on the edge of the box when Gabi handled.

Messi’s free-kick drifted inches over and with it Barca’s chances of a second consecutive treble were gone.

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RACE CARD

6.30pm: Baniyas Group 2 (PA) Dh 97,500 (Dirt) 1,400m.

7.05pm Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,200m

7.40pm Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,400m

8.15pm Handicap (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,400m

8.50pm Rated Conditions (TB) Dh 120,000 (D) 1,600m

9.25pm Handicap (TB) Dh 95,000 (D) 1,200m

10pm Handicap (TB) Dh 85,000 (D) 2,000m

Top 10 most competitive economies

1. Singapore
2. Switzerland
3. Denmark
4. Ireland
5. Hong Kong
6. Sweden
7. UAE
8. Taiwan
9. Netherlands
10. Norway

Anxiety and work stress major factors

Anxiety, work stress and social isolation are all factors in the recogised rise in mental health problems.

A study UAE Ministry of Health researchers published in the summer also cited struggles with weight and illnesses as major contributors.

Its authors analysed a dozen separate UAE studies between 2007 and 2017. Prevalence was often higher in university students, women and in people on low incomes.

One showed 28 per cent of female students at a Dubai university reported symptoms linked to depression. Another in Al Ain found 22.2 per cent of students had depressive symptoms - five times the global average.

It said the country has made strides to address mental health problems but said: “Our review highlights the overall prevalence of depressive symptoms and depression, which may long have been overlooked."

Prof Samir Al Adawi, of the department of behavioural medicine at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, who was not involved in the study but is a recognised expert in the Gulf, said how mental health is discussed varies significantly between cultures and nationalities.

“The problem we have in the Gulf is the cross-cultural differences and how people articulate emotional distress," said Prof Al Adawi. 

“Someone will say that I have physical complaints rather than emotional complaints. This is the major problem with any discussion around depression."

Daniel Bardsley

Sam Smith

Where: du Arena, Abu Dhabi

When: Saturday November 24

Rating: 4/5

About My Father

Director: Laura Terruso

Stars: Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Kim Cattrall

Rating: 2/5

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

Jurassic Park

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough
Rating: 5/5

Virtual banks explained

What is a virtual bank?

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority defines it as a bank that delivers services through the internet or other electronic channels instead of physical branches. That means not only facilitating payments but accepting deposits and making loans, just like traditional ones. Other terms used interchangeably include digital or digital-only banks or neobanks. By contrast, so-called digital wallets or e-wallets such as Apple Pay, PayPal or Google Pay usually serve as intermediaries between a consumer’s traditional account or credit card and a merchant, usually via a smartphone or computer.

What’s the draw in Asia?

Hundreds of millions of people under-served by traditional institutions, for one thing. In China, India and elsewhere, digital wallets such as Alipay, WeChat Pay and Paytm have already become ubiquitous, offering millions of people an easy way to store and spend their money via mobile phone. Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are also among the world’s biggest under-banked countries; together they have almost half a billion people.

Is Hong Kong short of banks?

No, but the city is among the most cash-reliant major economies, leaving room for newcomers to disrupt the entrenched industry. Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group Holding affiliate that runs Alipay and MYBank, and Tencent Holdings, the company behind WeBank and WeChat Pay, are among the owners of the eight ventures licensed to create virtual banks in Hong Kong, with operations expected to start as early as the end of the year. 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Story of 2017-18 so far and schedule to come

Roll of Honour

Who has won what so far in the West Asia rugby season?

 

Western Clubs Champions League

Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners up: Bahrain

 

Dubai Rugby Sevens

Winners: Dubai Exiles

Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons

 

West Asia Premiership

Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons

Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

 

UAE Premiership Cup

Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners up: Dubai Exiles

 

Fixtures

Friday

West Asia Cup final

5pm, Bahrain (6pm UAE time), Bahrain v Dubai Exiles

 

West Asia Trophy final

3pm, The Sevens, Dubai Hurricanes v Dubai Sports City Eagles

 

Friday, April 13

UAE Premiership final

5pm, Al Ain, Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Syria squad

Goalkeepers: Ibrahim Alma, Mahmoud Al Youssef, Ahmad Madania.
Defenders: Ahmad Al Salih, Moayad Ajan, Jehad Al Baour, Omar Midani, Amro Jenyat, Hussein Jwayed, Nadim Sabagh, Abdul Malek Anezan.
Midfielders: Mahmoud Al Mawas, Mohammed Osman, Osama Omari, Tamer Haj Mohamad, Ahmad Ashkar, Youssef Kalfa, Zaher Midani, Khaled Al Mobayed, Fahd Youssef.
Forwards: Omar Khribin, Omar Al Somah, Mardik Mardikian.

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbo

Transmission: seven-speed dual clutch automatic

Power: 169bhp

Torque: 250Nm

Price: Dh54,500

On sale: now

Five personal finance podcasts from The National

 

To help you get started, tune into these Pocketful of Dirham episodes 

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How gamers are getting rich by earning cryptocurrencies 

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Should you buy or rent a home in the UAE?  

Dubai World Cup factbox

Most wins by a trainer: Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor(9)

Most wins by a jockey: Jerry Bailey(4)

Most wins by an owner: Godolphin(9)

Most wins by a horse: Godolphin’s Thunder Snow(2)

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

If you go...

Etihad Airways flies from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur, from about Dh3,600. Air Asia currently flies from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu, with Berjaya Hotels & Resorts planning to launch direct chartered flights to Redang Island in the near future. Rooms at The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort start from 680RM (Dh597).

HAJJAN

Director: Abu Bakr Shawky 


Starring: Omar Alatawi, Tulin Essam, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi 


Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

MATCH INFO

Syria v Australia
2018 World Cup qualifying: Asia fourth round play-off first leg
Venue: Hang Jebat Stadium, Malayisa
Kick-off: Thursday, 4.30pm (UAE)
Watch: beIN Sports HD

* Second leg in Australia on October 10

The biog

Age: 30

Position: Senior lab superintendent at Emirates Global Aluminium

Education: Bachelor of science in chemical engineering, post graduate degree in light metal reduction technology

Favourite part of job: The challenge, because it is challenging

Favourite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Gandi

WHAT IS 'JUICE JACKING'?

• Juice jacking, in the simplest terms, is using a rogue USB cable to access a device and compromise its contents

• The exploit is taken advantage of by the fact that the data stream and power supply pass through the same cable. The most common example is connecting a smartphone to a PC to both transfer data and charge the former at the same time

• The term was first coined in 2011 after researchers created a compromised charging kiosk to bring awareness to the exploit; when users plugged in their devices, they received a security warning and discovered that their phones had paired to the kiosk, according to US cybersecurity company Norton

• While juice jacking is a real threat, there have been no known widespread instances. Apple and Google have also added security layers to prevent this on the iOS and Android devices, respectively

A Little to the Left

Developer: Max Inferno
Consoles: PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch
Rating: 4/5


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