LONDON — Atletico Madrid will be missing from the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in five years.

Requiring a win at Chelsea to have any chance of advancing, Madrid was held 1-1 in its final game in Group C at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Even if Diego Simeone’s team had held onto the lead secured in the 56th minute by Saul Niguez, it would not have been sufficient to finish in the top two since Roma beat Qarabag 1-0.

Madrid, twice a finalist in the last four years and a semifinalist last season, will instead be back in the Europa League for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

It didn’t go Chelsea’s way either at home. The Premier League champions were toppled from top spot after failing to beat Madrid. It took an own-goal to equalize in the 75th minute, with defender Stefan Savic turning Eden Hazard’s shot into his own net.

With Chelsea finishing second behind Roma, the Italian capital club could have the more favourable fixture in the round of 16 in February. The draw is Monday in Nyon.

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

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