Atletico Madrid knocked out Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions League final second leg at the Allianz Arena on away goals last night.
Antoine Griezmann struck the crucial away goal midway through the second half after Xabi Alonso’s deflected free-kick had put Bayern ahead and levelled the tie on aggregate.
After the first leg had finished 1-0 in Spain it was always going to be a thrilling encounter and the return leg in Munich did not disappoint.
Atleti have become renowned for their resilient defensive displays and they needed to be at their best to deny a rampant Bayern side who racked up 33 shots on goal. Jan Oblak and the Atletico Madrid defense had to withstand wave after wave of Bayern attacks, but somehow managed to hold on.
The first twenty minutes was a Bayern onslaught which saw Oblak called into action early, saving well from Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern’s pressure was rewarded following Xabi Alonso’s opener shortly after the half hour mark the momentum was well and truly with the German champions.
Thomas Muller then had the chance to put Bayern ahead in the tie from the penalty spot after Javi Martinez had been fouled by Jose Gimenez. However Muller’s effort was brilliantly saved by Atletico goalkeeper, Jan Oblak.
Bayern continued their dominance and controlled the majority of the game. However, shortly into the second half and the goal scorer from the first-leg, Antoine Griezmann superbly raced free from the halfway line when he was played through by Fernando Torres before comfortably slotting the ball past Manuel Neuer to gain the crucial away goal.
Bayern now needed another two goals to prevent Atletico Madrid reaching their second Champions League final in three years. Robert Lewandowski gave the German’s a lifeline when he nodded home from point blank range to put Bayern ahead on the night with a quarter of an hour still to play.
As Bayern pressed for another goal, Atleti were awarded a soft penalty which appeared to be outside the area when Torres was fouled. The Spaniard dusted himself down and had the chance to seal the tie, but his spot kick was saved by Neur.
Atletico held on and confirmed their place in the final in Milan on the away goal rule to send Bayern Munich crashing out in Pep Guardiola’s farewell season at the club.
Guardiola has taken Bayern to the semi-finals of the competition three times, however he has been foiled by Spanish opponents on each occasion.
Diego Simeone’s side will now face either Real Madrid or Manchester City in the final on May 28th after their first leg in Manchester finished 0-0 to leave the tie evenly poised.
The final in Milan could see a repeat of the 2014 final where Atletico were beaten by their Madrid neighbours, Real.
However, Atletico have proven that they are no pushovers having arguably knocked out two of the biggest sides in the competition in the form of Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
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