Atletico Madrid Champions League hero Jan Oblak admitted his stunning triple save to deny Bayer Leverkusen happened so quickly that he did not know what happened.
The 24-year-old Slovenia international ensured a goalless draw at the Vicente Calderon and a 4-2 victory on aggregate for Atletico, principally with some scarcely-believable goalkeeping midway through the second half.
He denied Julian Brandt and Kevin Volland, the latter twice, immediately before Javier Hernandez shot across goal. Those stops all-but took the wind out of Bayer’s sails as Diego Simeone’s side reached the last eight for a fourth straight season.
Asked about the save, Oblak told BT Sport 3: ” I don’t know. It was going very quickly. Sometimes you defend three and the ball doesn’t go in. I’m happy for that.”
Oblak barely had a save to make in the first half as former Manchester United forward Hernandez was among visiting players to be wasteful in front of goal.
The stopper said: ” They came to score an early goal. First half we defended great. They didn’t have one shot on goal so we kept a clean sheet in the first half.
“Second half, it wasn’t as good as the first one (defensively) but 0-0 is okay for us.”
Oblak was an unused substitute in the first leg as he stepped up his return from a shoulder injury, and after his second-leg heroics recognised the 4-2 lead Atletico took in Germany was vital.
“The first game was very important for us. We won 4-2 so we had an advantage here in Madrid,” he added.
“We knew we’d be a lot busier (on Wednesday) against Bayer. They have a good team, a young team. They play really well up front.
“We tried to win tonight. We didn’t win, we drew, but the most important thing is to go to the quarter-final. Now lets see who we’re going to play.”
Bayer manager Tayfun Korkut, who replaced sacked Roger Schmidt since the first leg, was pleased with his side’s display in Madrid, mentioning Kevin Volland and Hernandez’s first-half chances.
“From the first minute we were in this game,” he said.
“We were trying to control it and trying to look for our situations and I think we had two good moments in the first half to score, but we were always in the game.
“The team was working hard, trying to control the game. The passing was quite good but you have to score if you want to go to the next round.”
Volland, Wendell and Kevin Kample tested Olbak in the second period but to no avail.
“In the second half we had big chances to score as well,” Korkut added.
“At the end you have to respect what happened today but I have to tell you we are working hard, the team was working hard the last couple of days, so we will continue.
“This is the way we want them to play so we will try to continue with this style.”