In Review

Simeone stuns Guardiola as Atletico Madrid beat Bayern Munich

They have beaten Barcelona and Bayern Munich, can Atletico Madrid go on to finally win the Champions League?

Bayern Munich 2 Atletico Madrid 1 (2-2 on aggregate, Madrid win on away goals)

For the second time in three seasons Atletico Madrid are in the final of the Champions League and it could be a repeat of the 2014 final when they were beaten by Real Madrid. For that to happen, their neighbours will have to beat Manchester City in tonight's semi-final second leg in the Bernabeu, but should Real make it to Milan on 28 May they will face a tough task in the final.

Having beaten Barcelona in the last eight, Atletico proved that was no fluke by ending the dreams of another European powerhouse, Bayern Munich, thanks to a second-half goal from Antoine Griezmann.

That crucial away strike brought the Spaniards level on the night after Xabi Alonso's deflected free-kick had put Bayern one up in the first half. The Germans had the chance to double their advantage when Gimenez held back Javi Martínez but Thomas Muller's low penalty was well saved by Atletico keeper Jan Oblak.

Griezmann then equalised eight minutes into the second half and that left Bayern needing to score twice to progress and although Bayern dominated possession (72 per cent and 33 shots at goal), they struggled to break down the notoriously well-organised Atletico defence. That was until 74 minutes, when Arturo Vidal's headed cross was nodded into the net by Robert Lewandowski, and the Allianz Arena erupted.

As Bayern pushed for the all-important third goal, Atletico hit them on the counter, earning a penalty when Fernando Torres was felled by Martinez. Television replays indicated the contact was just outside the penalty area but it proved to be irrelevant as Manuel Neuer followed the example of Oblak and got down well to parry Torres penalty kick.

It was all Bayern in the closing stages but man-of-the match Oblak produced a stunning reflex save to keep out David Alaba's deflected strike as the Spaniards negotiated the five minutes of stoppage time.

It will be Atletico's third appearance in the final (they also lost to Bayern Munich in 1974) and coach Diego Simeone believes the spirit of his side may make it third time lucky. "It's not a coincidence that we are doing so well," he said. "We have developed as a team... we love the way we play. Now we're in the final and we want to win that game as well."

Asked what had impressed him most about the second leg, Simeone replied: "We coped with the pressure and we scored – and that was very difficult. It is unbelievable what we did. Now we've beaten two of the three best teams in Europe."

To win the final they may need to make it three out of three and vanquish their local rivals Real Madrid. Manchester City may have something to say about that when they face the Spaniards in the Bernabeu.

Watching at home on the television will be Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who takes charge of the Sky Blues in the summer. Defeat to Atletico means that he leaves Bayern after three seasons having failed to lead them to Champions League glory. "I've been happy to work here because of these players," he said. "The new coach can be happy to work with these guys. Of course I wanted to win the Champions League with Bayern and I tried my best to do that – I've given my life for this team."

Recommended

Maradona and the ‘simple homicide’ trial
Diego Maradona pictured in 2019
Why we’re talking about . . .

Maradona and the ‘simple homicide’ trial

A perfect storm of ‘injury, fatigue and déjà vu’ for England? 
England captain Harry Kane reacts after Hungary’s third goal at Molineux 
View from the terraces

A perfect storm of ‘injury, fatigue and déjà vu’ for England? 

Should Gareth Southgate be sacked?
Gareth Southgate reacts to England’s 4-0 defeat to Hungary in the Uefa Nations League
View from the terraces

Should Gareth Southgate be sacked?

A guide to the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022
The Fifa World Cup trophy on display at the draw for Qatar 2022
The big match

A guide to the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022

Popular articles

Who will win in Wakefield and Tiverton?
Wakefield town centre
Today’s big question

Who will win in Wakefield and Tiverton?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 24 June 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 24 June 2022

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 22 June 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 22 June 2022

The Week Footer Banner