Atletico Madrid have set themselves in a vital position to qualify for the Champions league final after claiming a vital 1-0 win over Bayern Munich at the Vincente Calderon.
It was a game deemed the toughest of the semi final pairings and both teams knew they had to stay composed for 90 minutes to get anything out of it.Athletico Madrid embodied the zeal of their coach, Diego Simeone, dugged, relentless, persevering,tireless, for 90 minutes and unlike the game yesterday which went 90 minutes without a goal,this time,we had to wait just eleven minutes to experience the first goal,and not only was it just a goal,it was a goal with class,it was one of the displays of pure individualism in a game that is increasingly dominated by percentages, team work, transitions and statistical analysis. It contains elements of showmanship, ego, self all personality traits that must now be sacrificed to the whole.Saul Niguez,after collecting the ball from midfield,went past ‘four’ Bayern munich defenders,into the box and sent a curling ball beyond Manuel Neuer to send the Vincente Calderon to raptures.
Bayern did all they could to get back into the game with Coman and Costa both very impressive on the night.Coman had to make way for Ribery though in the second half but seriously,Ribery couldn’t do much against an Atletico team who were doubling up on Bayern’s impressive wingers while Lewandowski toiled all night but was constantly foiled by Atletico’s impressive central defensive pairing of Gimenez and former Manchester city centre back, Stefan Savic.Muller who was surprisingly left on the bench also came on in the second half but the Atletico Madrid players held firm.Atletico Madrid should have gone 2-0 up and seriously Bayern were lucky to escape in the 79th minute when Atletico broke free with Griezmann who eventually laid the ball to Torres,he cut inside Alaba and sent a rasping shot beyond Neuer but it striked the bar and came out before it was cleared.Bayern though had some few half chances but still couldn’t break the deadlock to get that vital away goal that would keep them firmly in the game.
Bayern munich now head to the Allianz Arena knowing they have to score two unreplied goals to advance to the next stage while Atletico will go there,knowing they have to sit tight and hit Bayern on the counter in order to get that vital away goal, all in the race to reach the finals in Milan next month.