Bayern vs Atlético: live 2015/16 Champions League semi-finals
Atlético Madrid lost 2-1 on an emotional night in Munich, 2-2 aggregate, but progress to the final with a precious away goal. Bayern's constant pressure was not enough.
Diego Simeone's collective have become known as a hard-working, never say die team. They've been criticised over the years for their lack of flair - often put up for comparison against domestic and continental rivals such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich - and in the lead up to the second leg tie against the Bundesliga champions-elect many commentators, managers and ex-players were having their say about the "anti-tiki taka" that has emerged. But the fact that this, and previous Atlético sides are even being mentioned in the same breath as those others is testament to what Simeone and everyone associated with the club can be incredibly proud of.
Tonight's Bavarian challenge was never expected to be easy and there was little to surprise viewers with the pattern of play that developed from the first few minutes. The home side had the ball. The visitors tried to break up the passing or, if that wasn't possible, ensure that the neat, chance creating options were kept to a minimum. What was evident, however, was the desire from Pep's side to get action going in the penalty area, and cross after cross had Spanish fans fidgeting for some respite. Although it would be untrue to say that Bayern created lots of clear cut opportunities, a goal felt like it was coming. And on the 31st minute it duly did, from a set-piece.
A rash challenge from Augusto on the edge of the area, slightly left of centre, gave ex-Madrid player Xabi Alonso the sight of goal he needed. After the ref sorted out a busy wall, the Spaniard stepped up and hit it low. It wasn't particularly powerful or dangerous, but a fortunate/cruel deflection off Giminez's legs wrong-footed Oblak. 1-1 on aggregate. Bayern immediately looked to keep control and kill off the game. Two minutes later a penalty gave them the perfect chance. Müller put it to Oblak's right but the keeper dived and saved. A let-off for Atlético.
Half-time reached and a change of complexion to the second half. Atléti looked as though they wanted to take the game to Bayern much more than sit and break. But it was a text-book counter that shocked the noisy home crowd in the Allianz Arena. Koke to Griezmann, a lay-off to his strike partner Torres who then fed the Frenchman in behind the defence and he made no mistake in his Neuer one-on-one. Driving seat for the Spanish side but the pressure again began to build on their defence eventually leading to a headed goal for Lewandowski after a great knock-back by Vidal. Fifteen minutes with only one goal required by Bayern to go through. Atlético looked drained at times but a penalty (wrongly given for a foul on Torres just outside the box) gave them the chance to end the threat. Karma intervened and it was saved. With a few more scares inside the final ten minutes the Spanish side survived and celebrations commenced with Cholo and his crew.
Lovers of possession play, calm control and intricate interpassing may not enjoy Atlético's battling style but it's certainly proving effective and it's the Rojiblancos that will be lining up at the end of May in Europe's showpiece finale. It's more than belief that got them there.
AS English man of the match:
How it all happened
Min 90+5 | IT IS ALL OVER!!!!!! Atlético are going to the Champions League final in Milan. What a game though. They really had to work for it though.
Min 90+2 | Corner number 11 to Bayern. Each time it comes in they look dangerous but again it's cleared. Looks like Simeone just punched the fourth official for not letting him make a change quick enough. Savic on.
Min 90+1 | First of five additional minutes to be played. Nerves-a-jangling
Min 88 | Corner to Bayern, out to Alaba who hits a lovely, clean strike but it's the deflection that causes Oblak the problem. He adjusts himself well and dives down to his left pushing the wet ball away. The keeper is down though. Seems to have hurt something in the process.
Min 85 | Some would say that justice was done there as it shouldn't have been a penalty IMO. That would have settled some nerves but, as it is, we're going into the last few minutes with just a goal required for the Germans to go through to the final.
Min 83 | Penalty to Atletico (Torres brought down possibly just outside the area). The same man steps up and....it's saved!!! And cleared.
Min 80 | Bayern corner. Cleared. Both sets of coaching staff very amimated now in the technical area. Sub for Atleti: Partey on for goalscorer Griezmann. But will it be the visitors that are having a ...ahh, you get it.
Min 77 | It's Atléti's turn to get the ball into the opposition area but with only Torres in there the danger is quickly gone. Bayern head straight back up the other end and, again, Lewandowski has a chance. Stretching/falling he can't get a true connection on the flick-on to him. The noise inside the stadium is deafening. Both sets of fans believe!
Min 74 | Goooooooaaaaalllll! Lewandowski heads it in from a couple of yards after Costa's deep cross from the left is headed back across goal by Vidal. Oblak came to block Vidal's header and was then stranded. Game on...was it ever off?!
Min 73 | Bayern with their eighth corner of the game. Swung in from the right but the header is high
Min 70 | Lewandowski gets a half-turn volley away from his right boot but Oblak again down smartly and saves, spills and collects. Atletico have conceded a bit more play to the Germans in the last 10 minutes.
Min 68 | The ex-Madrid man, Alonso, gets a shot away from outside the area but Oblak down and behind it no problem. The home team need something to happen soon.
Min 65 | No clear cut chances in the last few minutes but I'd certainly not rule out a Bayern victory. Remember what happened against Juve...
Min 62 | If Pep's team talk at half-time was "keep doing the same thing" then he wasn't expecting a different Atlético. And that's what he got!
Min 58 | OK. This game has a newer complexion on it than a teenage boy's face covered in acne. Bayern need to score two without reply to go through. And the good news for anyone who has a date later...extra-time is now not an option.
Koke plays it to Griezmann, who lays off to Torres who puts his frontman in behind the defence (he looked offside to me at first glance but replay suggests otherwise). Through one-on-one and places it past the on-rushing Neuer.
Min 53 | Goooooooooooooooooooollllllll!! Griezmann strikes!!
Min 52 | Obviously no more goals here would take us into extra time. But it doesn't feel like that's going to happen.
Min 51 | A break by Lewandowski but, just as it looked like a chance could be carved, he stumbled and Atlético regain possession.
Min 47 | A swap of possession from both sides but - and maybe it's premature to say - but Atlético seem to have an extra desire to get the ball and play. Early free-kick won in the attacking third. Swung in but two high and Neuer claims,
Min 46 | And we're off. One change: Augusto off, Carrasco on. Let's see how the opening few exchanges go. Can the travelling fans get more to cheer about this half? They certainly made some noise pre-kick off
They say that little things can make the difference and after compaints from Pep about the dry pitch in Madrid, he has ensured that his home turf was moisty-moist.
71% possession, 16 shots vs 2, 6 corners vs 1. The basic stats support what we've just witnessed with our eyes. Bayern have been dominant. But all that really matters is the 1-0 scoreline. Will Simeone change things - Griezmann and Torres have had precious little to work with and the defence may not be able to last another 45 minutes if the pattern isn't altered. I'll be back with more as soon as the whistle blows...
Min 45+1 | We've just entered the single additional minute to be played. And that's it. The ref brings a frenetic 46 minutes to a close.
Min 43 | The Bavarians not letting up. They've come out this evening with the idea to put this game to bed as soon as possible. Another ball lifted into the area but foul goes the visitors way.
Min 40 | As we enter the final 5 minutes of the first half I'm pretty sure the Atlético players will be pleased if they can survive until the break without conceding again.
Min 36 | The most surprising thing so far. A break in play. Although Pep and Simeone decide to keep the entertainment going on the sidelines. Ribéry seems to step in to calm things down. The French peacemaker.
Min 34 | Oblak saves!!
Min 33 | Atlético need to get a hold of this game. Oh, wait. It just gets worse. Penalty for a hold/throw from Giminez. Not his finest few minutes. Müller steps up...
Min 31 | Goooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaalllllll. Alonso strikes it low, it hits the inside of Giminez's legs and wrong foots Oblak. 1-0 on the night. All square in the tie.
Min 29 | Dangerous free kick position for Bayern after foul at the edge of the area by Augusto. Ref having some challenges getting a huge wall in place. Xabi Alonso steps up...
Min 26 | Corner (first) to the visitors. Wasted and Ribéry breaks. Eventually cross comes in from the Frenchman, nips over the leaping heads but bounces in front of Lahm coming in from the right. Drive it goalward but too high. Can the Spanish side last this growing onslaught?
Min 24 | more balls into the Atlético box (a clear Pep tactic?) but the ball breaks out to Ribery who strikes sweetly from around 25 yards. Oblak decides to block, not catch, and then throws himself at the feet of Lewandowski to block again. Danger gone...unlikely for long though.
Min 22 | Simeone on the sideline yelling instructions to his lads. Stepping onto the pitch in case they can't hear him
Min 20 | Great chance! Lewandowski denied by Oblak
Min 18 | No surprise here. Bayern have had over two thirds of the possession and putting more and more pressure on Oblak's goal. Simeone's men waiting and working towards a break opportunity.
Min 14 | Vidal shoots from about 35 yards and it maintains its rising projectory into the crowd behind. Then Gabi gets a good drive away. The home side then build some pressure and the ball into the box can't find a Bayern boot...
Min 12 | Best chance of the game. Lewandowski up at the back post above Juanfran but can't get enough on it. Goal kick.
Min 9 | Corner to Bayern. Cleared. Atlético break. Nothing. Game has started at a good pace but neither team getting a hold of the play.
Min 8 | Great interception in midfield by the home side could set them on their way...but Leti get it back efficiently
Min 5 | Atlético have a free kick wide left, get plenty bodies into the box but choose to pass it short for a drive. Neuer collects comfortably
Min 3 | Torres played through one on one with Neuer but flag up early for offside. Official correct by a yard.
Min 2 | Early ball into Atlético box punched away. Who'll find their feet first?
Min 1 | Already we are unsurprised to see little room being given to the home side.
Peeeeep. We're off. Bayern kicking from right to left from our viewing position.
OK, the team's are out, the Champions League anthem has been played and we're ready for kick-off. After seeing what their team did against Juve in the previous round, the home fans should be quietly confident that they can come back from a goal down. But Simeone will have his tactics well drilled.
So, Pep looks to be going with a 4-1-4-1 formation while Cholo has 4-4-2 with Griezmann and Torres leading the line. Both, as always, will be expected to put in a bit of a shift, closing down the play high up the pitch.
Just 15 minutes now.
T-minus 30 minutes till kick-off. There must be some nerves around the players and fans.
Bayern XI: Neuer - Boateng, Lahm, Alaba, Martinez - Alonso - Costa, Ribéry, Vidal, Müller -Lewandowski (Subs: Ulreich - Tasci, Thiago, Rafinha, Götze, Coman, Kimmich)
Atlético XI: Oblak - Juanfran, Godín, Giminez, Felipe Luis - Gabi, Augusto, Koke, Saul - Torres Griezmann (Subs:
Hello and welcome to AS English's live text coverage of tonight's Champions League semi-final second leg between Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid, with kick-off at 20:45 CEST.
Atlético have had to wait 42 long years to avenge their 1974 European Cup final heartbreak against Bayern - when Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck's last-gasp equaliser denied Los Rojiblancos a maiden continental crown - and this is their chance to do just that.
Saúl Ñíguez's stunning solo goal at the Calderón last Wednesday means Los Colchoneros take a 1-0 first-leg advantage to the Allianz Arena, where they come up against hosts who have posted no fewer than 11 straight home victories in Europe's premier club competition.
With one eye firmly on today's crunch encounter, coaches Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone both named much-changed sides for their league engagements on Saturday, and are set to welcome back a host of individuals who featured in last week's opening leg in Madrid.
For Atlético, that raft of returnees to the line-up includes French dangerman Antoine Griezmann, who came off the bench to grab an immediate winner in their weekend match-up with Rayo Vallecano, one that kept Simeone's men firmly in the LaLiga hunt.
Key defender Diego Godín is also set to slot back in for the visitors after recovering from a hamstring issue that has kept him out of action for a fortnight, with winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco likewise returning to contention but expected to be among the substitutes.
Meanwhile, Bayern's Bundesliga draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach, which left them still waiting to clinch their fourth straight title, saw Jerome Boateng make his comeback after three months out - and he is in line to face Atleti.
And as boss Guardiola bids to close out his tenure at the German outfit with the ultimate prize, Thomas Müller - surprisingly on the bench for the first leg - is also poised to retain his place from Saturday.
Awaiting Atlético if they secure their ticket to Milan? A possible re-match of the 2014 final against city rivals Real - who take on Man City in tomorrow's second last-four return - and the potential for European Revenge: Part Deux.
Join us for the build-up and all the action from Munich!