Millennium Post

CL: Atletico Madrid reach final, beat Bayern through away goal

Diego Simeone’s men became the first team to make it to the final of the Champions League on Wednesday despite Bayern Munich winning the second leg 2-1 as they drew Atletico Madrid 2-2 on aggregate, letting the latter take away the game with an away goal advantage.

Carrying a 1-0 aggregate deficit from the first leg, Bayern Munich displayed great intensity after the initial slow moments and took Atleti head on. As predicted, Bayern kept the ball for the major part of the game. As fierce as Bayern was in the first half, Atletico looked particularly loose in the midfield thus, creating no real chances for themselves.

Bayern’s persistent attacks, which were mostly savedthwarted by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, finally led to a breakthrough in the 31st minute through a free kick earned by David Alaba off Augusto Fernandez’ mistimed challenge just outside the box. Xabi Alonso took a low free kick that saw the back of the net after a deflection from Jose Gimenez. The match, surely, wasn’t a pleasant one for the penalty takers as both Thomas Muller and Fernando Torres missed penalties in the 35th and the 83rd minute respectively, both penalties being exact the same in nature and awarded at crucial stages. Just after the half time, the stadium also witnessed a slight tussle between Diego Simeone and Bayern winger Franck Ribery on the touchline.

The half time substitution in the form of Belgian Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco fired up Atletico’s midfield which split open the Bayern defence in the 54th minute. Torres timely passed the ball to Antoine Griezmann who did an excellent job of keeping himself onside yet staying clear of the Bayern back-line. Having Manuel Neuer one on one, Griezmann comfortably struck past Neuer to send the ball home. Atletico securing the precious away goal meant Bayern had to score two more goals in order to reach the final.

Despite Bayern’s tremendous effort, Oblak, being agile, displayed terrific character and stood firm at the goalpost. In the 74th minute, Alaba put a cross from the left flank in the box to which Arturo Vidal jumped the highest and delightfully headed it towards Lewandowski who comfortably headed in the ball.

The last ten minutes of the game saw Bayern Munich going all out for another goal while Atletico’s defence remained rock solid. Guardiola’s men failed to make even the 5-minute stoppage time count.
The other semifinal between Real Madrid and Manchester City will take place on Thursday in Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu. 
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