ATLÉTICO - BAYERN
Atletico - Bayern Champions League 2015-16 semi-final live!
Atletico Madrid overcame Bayern Munich by the minimum in the Vicente Calderón stadium, one moment of magic by Saúl Ñiguez enough to give victory to Atleti in Madrid.
Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Bayern Munich
A fascinating contest at the Calderón between two teams, and two managers, with starkly contrasting styles. Bayern's possession-based football couldn't overcome Atleti's sound set-up and counter-attacking threat.
Saúl Ñiguez scored the only goal of the game, a goal they're calling 'messianic' in Madrid as he weaved between two Munich players, feinted and curled the ball around Neuer, off the post and in. Atleti have made a habit of winning 1-0 this season, and Guardiola's Bayern have a job on their hands turning this one around in the second leg against the team with the best defensive record left in the competition.
Here's how it happened:
Min 95 | Full-Time! Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Bayern Munich
Min 93 | Chance for Benatia, but his header is again stopped by Oblak, then a glorious opportunity falls to Vidal but he gaffes it into the ground and it plops into Oblak's hands again.
Min 91 | 4' of added-on.
Min 90 | Alaba hoists one into the box, Oblak collects easily, the Austrian's teammates look at him. Bayern out of ideas?
Min 89 | Arturo Vidal gets his yellow card for blocking off Juanfran, it's been coming since early on in the game, but he's not best pleased.
Min 87 | Douglas Costa spots Oblak off his line and welts a searching curler right under the crossbar, good feet from the Slovenian.
Min 86 | All of these stoppages and interruptions to the Bayern rhythm are playing right into rojiblanco hands..
Min 84 | Thomas joins the party as Saúl is sung off the pitch by the adoring public.
Min 83 | More stoppages as Koke runs it out of play and Benatia catches him late, not much in it really, but the crowd howls bloody murder and Neuer comes out to try and pull Koke to his feet, Clattenburg shows him a yellow for his trouble too.
Min 81 | What's so impressive about Atleti are the levels of concentration they maintain throughout the game.
Min 79 | Bayern have had 79% of the possession, but Atleti still have the only goal.
Min 77 | Guardiola's final roll of the dice: Benatia on for Bernat.
Min 75 | Torresssss!! He hits the post after an extraordinary effort that had Madrid on its feet, he and Griezmann worked that superbly, and Neuer was up quickly to grab Koke's rebound.
Min 73 | What a strike from Vidal, and what a save form Oblak. Top-corner stuff from both parties.
Min 71 | Uuuuu... Douglas Costa drops it onto the roof of the net after a good first-time effort. Thomas Muller comes on for Tiago.
Min 68 | A moment's respite for Atlético as that man Saúl orchestrates a break for Juanfran, it feels like the locals' first time in the Bayern half in a long time. The bayrischers win it back though, and build again.
Min 66 | Ribery's first opportunity is patrolled ably by Augusto, who's made himself a fixture in this team since coming in from Celta Vigo.
Min 64 | Uyy yuy yuy... Lewandowski makes space and whips it across Oblak, but again the Atleti stopper gets enough on it. Coman is off for the experience of Franc Ribery.
Min 60 | Simeone senses his team in their most trying period of the match, El Cholo the cheerleader has comes out, whipping up the crowd.
Min 58 | Atleti very deep now, wave after wave of Bayern attack crashing on the rock of the Atletico defence, Gimenez this time denying Coman with an excellent challenge. Watch out for an Atleti sucker-punch on the counter.
Min 57 | Javi Martinez comes close from a corner, his downward header is swallowed up by Oblak down low. The chances coming for Bayern now..
Min 55 | Uffff... What a strike from all of 40 yards from Alaba, it crashes off the crossbar, down and out. Brilliant effort.
Min 51 | Bayern have all the ball, but if ever there was a team comfortable without the ball, it's these candy-stripers. One huge advantage the team from Madrid is their crowd, they don't get on the team's back for sitting deep, for counter-attacking at home, for allowing the visitors to dominate possession: total support for Simeone's side.
Min 48 | Bayern have come out with intent here, forcing Atleti back and trying to get an early equalizer, Kingsley Coman trying to make something happen, but again the Atleti fortifications hold firm.
Min 46 | Peep! The second half is up and running! No changes on either side.
A high-intensity half of football with plenty of incident and one special solo run from Saúl Ñiguez that has made all the difference. Bayern have enjoyed possession, but have struggled to breach the walls of this Simeone citadel.
Torres, Saúl and Griezmann look intent on making the most of the chances that come their way, Atleti happy to concede most of the ball most of the time; Bayern have threatened through Vidal's late runs into the box, quality delivery from Alonso and Tiago, and their right flank looks to have danger in it, Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa left scorch marks on the right-hand side of the pitch after one promising raid.
The second half promises...
Min 46 | With the Calderón whistling for Clattenburg's half-time whistle and Simeone waving his hands about like he's choking, Bernat fires high and over, the rojiblancos will be delighted with that half of football.
Min 44 | Lewandowski annoyed he didn't get a free from Clattenburg on the half-way line, Atleti again got to the byline and Koke's flick comes off Javi Martinez' face. Could have gone anywhere, but just went for a corner this time.
Min 41 | Vidal had a sneaky elbow into Gabi's mid-section on a header in the midfield, the crowd baying for a card for the Chilean, none forthcoming. Yet.
Min 40 | Yellow card for Douglas Costa for raking studs down the back of goal-hero Saúl's calf. Ow.
Min 38 | Tiago whips a free-kick in this time, again Oblak judges the flight correctly. Bayern look like they really want to make something of these dead ball situations.
Min 37 | Atleti 6 - 6 Bayern: attempts.. Atleti 4 - 1 Bayern: On target.
Min 36 | Bayern finding their stride here, Vidal fires high after some nice snappy build-up play.
Min 34 | That's the first time Coman and Costa have opened up on the right, two whippets on a lightning fast attack, but the low cross favours Oblak.
Min 32 | Gimenez sticks his head in where it hurts to stop Alonso's snap-cross falling to Lewandowski on the volley. Brave.
Min 30 | Penalty! roar Bayern fans and players, Lahm strikes it against Augusto's arm, Clattenburg says no. From the counter Griezmann streaks through on goal, Neuer keeps the distance at 1 with an outstretched leg.
Min 28 | Aletico Madrid 31% - 69% Bayern Munich: possession so far.
Min 26 | Douglas Costa sends colchonero hearts a-flutter from a free-kick as it hits the net, but luckily for the locals it's the side-net.
Min 23 | Atletico Madrid have a better defensive record than any other team left in the Champions League. Bayern will need something special to 'open the can' as they say in Spain.
Min 22 | Atleti looking very comfortable here, Bayern struggling to create anything clear or make inroads into this tight red and white unit.
Min 20 | Spaniard Xabi Alonso fires a free-kick into the Atleti box for Bayern, but Oblak is under that one, the Calderón roars their approval.
Min 19 | Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Bayern Munich
Min 15 | Chance to catch some breath after 15 intense minutes of action, and we were all expecting a tight, tactical chess match to start with.
Min 14 | Bayern close to equalising immediately, cleared off the line, then Oblak punched Arturo Vidal clean in the kopf. He did get the ball first though.
Min 12 | Saúl Ñiguez ... What a goal!! he picked it up in midfield, ran at the Bayern backline, jinked past two effortlessly and curled it in off the post beyond Neuer. Brilliant.
Min 11 | SAAAUUUUUULLL!! GGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLAAAAAZOOOO!!
Min 8 | Fernando Torres looks in the mood, great run into the box as the German side backed off, but his shot was too meek at the front post.
Min 5 | Saul had a great chance to get a cross in from a dangerous position on the byline, but conspired to dig into the turf instead, the first shot on target comes from Atleti, Saul crossing Neuer's palms.
Min 3 | Ufff, a bone-rattling tackle from Vidal on Koke that might have got a yellow if wasn't Mark 'I'm English and out to show all you nancy foreigners that this is a man's game and can't roll about like ninnies with me' Clattenburg with the whistle in his mouth.
Min 2 | Bayern keeping posesion here, Atleti didn't have a touch for the first two minutes. Guardiola gesturing furiously as always from the technical area, Bayern largely ignoring him.
Min 1 | Bayern get this one underway playing from right to left in their away black and red strip, Atleti in their classic red and white stripes.
Amazing atmosphere at the Calderón!
An impressive red and white mosaic is spread across the stadium saying "Atleti I love you, to the final together".
TV viewers have beenbombarded by ads for crisps and beer peddled by professional football players who likely never touch either, and now the 'Chaaaaaaampions' anthem is done.. We're ready to go!
Atleti yo te amo, contigo al final
Atlético: Oblak; Juanfran, Gimenez, Savic, Filipe Luis; Augusto, Gabi, Koke, Saul; Griezmann, Torres
Bayern: Neuer - Thiago, Martínez, Lewandowski, Costa, Alonso, Bernat, Lahm (C), Vidal, Alaba, Coman
Five-times champions Bayern Munich visit the Calderón on Wednesday evening seeking to end a run of two consecutive semi-final exits from Europe’s elite club competition. Pep Guardiola arrived at the Allianz Arena to take the helm of the reigning champions in the summer of 2013, after Jupp Heynckes had led the Bavarians to a domestic and European treble. Guardiola, who guided Barcelona to two Champions League triumphs during his tenure at Camp Nou, knows that his reign in Munich will be judged not by the Bundesliga and German Cup triumphs he has delivered with the Bundesliga juggernaut, but by his ability to outfox Europe’s heavyweights on the grandest stage.
Standing in Guardiola and Bayern’s path are Atlético Madrid, who now must be placed in that category themselves after reaching a second semi-final in three seasons and knocking out Barcelona in the previous round to earn their tie against Bayern. Diego Simeone’s side have achieved a certain notoriety as a tough nut to crack and this season has been no different. No side has conceded fewer goals in La Liga and in total, Jan Oblak has kept a club record 22 clean sheets in all competitions this season. The Slovakian keeper’s form will be vital to Atlético’s chances in the tie: between them, Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski have plundered 16 Champions League goals in this year’s competition and Atlético will be without their defensive talisman Diego Godín for the home leg at least.
Simeone will be able to call on Fernando Torres, who served a one-match ban in the second leg against Barcelona. The Spaniard has been in scintillating form in recent weeks, bagging five goals in five matches before the 1-0 victory over Málaga at the weekend, when Ángel Correa netted the decisive goal. Alongside Antoine Griezmann, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions this season, Simeone will feel confident of his side’s ability to cause Bayern a few problems at the back after Guardiola’s side were pegged back by Juventus at 2-0 up and then conceded twice in the Allianz Arena in the return leg, eventually seeing off last year’s beaten finalist with two extra time strikes. Benfica also scored twice in the quarter-finals against Guardiola’s side.
Atlético, though, will certainly settle for a clean sheet at the Calderón, buoyed by their last eight experience of knocking two past Barcelona at Camp Nou. Simeone has forged a side over the past four years that is capable of beating anyone on their day, even if that day is in Munich not Madrid.
"Atlético defend well, but they do a lot of other things well. When they press in the opposition half they are very intense. They have been competing for titles for four years and to do that you have to almost everything well. The most difficult thing to do in this sport is to win regularly and they are doing that. The greatest title Atlético have achieved is that they are compared to Barcelona and Real Madrid,” said Guardiola ahead of the game.
Bayern were knocked out at the semi-final stage in the past two season precisely by those Spanish sides and Simeone will be keen to do his part for a national hat-trick. “We have to concentrate solely on winning,” the Atlético coach said.
The teams have only met once before, in the 1974 European Cup final. The first leg ended 1-1, forcing a replay that Bayern took 4-0. Atlético’s only other final appearance came two seasons ago, when the colchoneros were beaten in excruciating fashion by Real Madrid in extra time.
One of the team of ’74, Miguel Reina, said in an interview ahead of the game: “Football owes Atlético a European Cup”
That may be so, but Guardiola owes Bayern one as well. Whatever the outcome of this tie, it’s safe to assume four decades won’t elapse until Atlético and Bayern meet again at the summit of European competition. As Guardiola noted: “Football doesn’t care about the past, only the present.”
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