Atletico on top in Athens
Atletico Madrid held the advantage in their UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off against Panathinaikos after an entertaining first leg in Athens.
Maxi Rodriguez gave Atletico a half-time lead which Dimitris Salpigidis cancelled out two minutes after the restart, before Diego Forlan put the Spaniards ahead again. Sergio Aguero extended the advantage after 70 minutes but Sebastian Leto kept his side in the tie with a fierce strike four minutes later.
Atletico remained true to their word and named Sergio Aguero in their starting XI. The 21-year-old's future has been the subject of much speculation this summer, but his appearance ensured he would be cup-tied in Europe should any move go through.
The sides largely cancelled each other out in the early exchanges. After 33 minutes, Pana appeared to have scored when Salpigidis neatly converted a low, inswinging cross from the left from Giorgos Karagounis, but he was narrowly offside.
Three minutes later, the hosts were behind. Forlan controlled well at the end of a lightning Atletico move, before slipping the ball through to Maxi Rodriguez, who calmly nudged the ball home.
Forlan had the chance to get on the scoresheet himself a minute before the break when Simao Sabrosa surged down the left and pulled the ball back, but the Uruguay striker scuffed his shot presenting an easy save to Mario Galinovic.
If Atletico finished the half the stronger side, Pana sprinted out of the blocks after the break and they were level within two minutes of the restart. Karagounis produced a defence-splitting pass from deep before Salpigidis deftly lobbed the bouncing ball over Sergio Asenjo and into the net.
Aguero missed a glorious chance when he spooned Forlan's cross over the bar, but Atletico were back in the lead after 63 minutes. Antonio Lopez sent Simao away down the left and the Portugal winger pulled the ball back for Maxi, whose strike crashed against the bar.
The ball broke to Paulo Assuncao, who played in Forlan to fire home from the edge of the box. Karagounis shot from distance at the other end, briefly troubling Asenjo, but Aguero gave the Spaniards a two-goal cushion after 70 minutes, turning Bryce Moon and Nikos Spyropoulos inside out down the right before firing across Galinovic.
Four minutes later, Spyropoulos slipped Leto in down the left channel and the Argentinian rifled the ball past Asenjo to make it 3-2, but it was Atletico who left the Greek capital with the upper hand.