Created on 03-05-2016 at 22:35 PM by Alice Hamley
Bayern’s dreams of making the Champions League final for the third time in the last five years were heartbreakingly dashed in Tuesday’s semi-final return at home to Atlético Madrid, because although Pep Guardiola’s men won 2-1 on the night, the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate and the Spaniards progress by virtue of Antoine Griezmann’s opportunistic away goal.
In the cauldron of noise and colour created by the 70,000 full house at the Allianz Arena, the Reds had their opponents under the cosh from the off and Xabi Alonso levelled the tie on aggregate with a 31st-minute free-kick. Visiting keeper Jan Oblak saved a Thomas Müller penalty four minutes later and the miss proved costly eight minutes into the second half when Griezmann equalised on the night with Atlético’s first real chance. Robert Lewandowski made it 2-1 with quarter of an hour to go and Manuel Neuer kept his side in it on 84 minutes when he saved a controversial Fernando Torres penalty, but it was not to be as time ran out on the distraught Reds.
The Bavarians are back in action on Saturday with their second chance to wrap up the domestic league title once and for all with a win away to neighbours Ingolstadt.
Starts for Thomas, Franck and Jerome
FCB coach Guardiola rested seven of his regulars for last weekend’s Bundesliga meeting with Mönchengladbach but sent out a full-strength line-up for the do-or-die European clash. Jerome Boateng retained his place after returning from injury, and there were starts for Müller and Franck Ribery, who began on the bench in Madrid seven days ago.
The home team lined up with Neuer in goal, David Alaba, Javi Martinez, Boateng and captain Philipp Lahm in defence, Alonso as the anchor, Douglas Costa and Ribery out wide, and Müller, Arturo Vidal and Lewandowski in attack.
Atlético boss Diego Simeone also rotated his squad for the La Liga fixture against Rayo Vallecano but restored his stars to Tuesday’s team, with the likes of deadly strike pair Torres and Griezmann joined by fit-again centre-back Diego Godin.
Alonso’s opener, Müller denied
Galvanised by the crackling atmosphere at the stadium, Bayern were on the front foot immediately after Turkish referee Cüneyt Cakir whistled play underway with Oblak fisting away a Vidal chip, Lewandowski steering a header wide at full stretch, and Vidal clattering a shot over the bar from distance.
Neuer comfortably held Atlético skipper Gabi’s speculative effort but the momentum favoured FCB with Müller hooking a shot across goal and Vidal aiming too close to Oblak, before a huge chance on 20 minutes when the Slovenian keeper blocked Lewandowski’s close-range effort with his legs after Boateng found Müller with a classy chipped pass.
The Reds kept up the pressure with Lewandowski just failing to net the rebound after Oblak spilled a Ribery shot and Lahm spearing a rising drive narrowly over the bar, before Alonso’s breakthrough strike on 31 minutes with a well-struck 20-yard free-kick that took a slight deflection off José Maria Gimenez.
The same player was in the spotlight again three minutes later when he wrestled Martinez to the ground before a corner, but although Mr Cakir had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, Müller saw his penalty beaten out by Oblak. Guardiola’s men kept coming but there were no further goals before the break.
Griezmann shocks Reds
Munich made an energetic start to the second half with half-chances for Costa and Martinez, but disaster struck in the 53rd minute when Atlético broke and Torres released Griezmann to slot clinically past Neuer and leave FCB with a mountain to climb, although there was a whiff of offside about the France star’s run at goal.
Juanfran flashed a drive wide as the visitors went for the kill but the home team regrouped, Müller and Martínez probing and twisting in the box, and Lewandowski drawing a very good save from Oblak with a volley on the turn. Kingsley Coman replaced Costa in the 73rd minute and the Reds were right back in it just a minute later when Lewandowski nodded home Vidal’s headed lay-off from Alaba’s cross to set up a frantic finale.
The men in red laid siege to the Spaniards’ goal now with Oblak saving from Coman, but there was controversy in the 83rd minute when Martinez was adjudged to have fouled Torres in the box, although the contact looked to be outside. Neuer saved the day with a superb save from Torres’ penalty, before Oblak beat out Alaba’s deflected shot and Coman fired over the bar, only for time to run out on the downcast Reds.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley