Atletico draw first blood against Bayern in Champions
MADRID: An early intention via baby Saul Niguez gave Atletico Madrid a gritty 1-zero victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Wednesday.
The 21-12 months-old Niguez cleared three defenders earlier than getting into the subject and hitting a low, good-positioned shot into the far nook in the 11th minute.
Diego Simeone’s rough defense then took over and Atletico held on for an main victory at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
A draw subsequent week in Germany can be enough for Simeone’s facet to arrive the ultimate for the 2d time within the final three seasons.
“it’s still vast open,” Simeone mentioned.
“The return sport should be just as exciting for each person staring at it. It is going to be a intricate assignment in opposition to an extraordinarily powerful team.”
Pep Guardiola’s Bayern, trying to arrive the ultimate for the first time since winning the title in 2013, got here practically equalizing with a protracted-variety shot by means of David Alaba within the 54th, but the ball struck the crossbar with Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak already crushed.
Striker Fernando Torres could have expanded Atletico’s skills in the 75th however he also struck the woodwork after a breakaway.
“It was once a first rate night and i am joyful for all Atletico supporters,” Torres said.
“we’ve got received what we desired, which was once to get the scoreline in our favor ahead of the second leg.”
actual Madrid and Manchester metropolis drew zero-zero of their first-leg healthy in England on Tuesday.
Wednesday’s draw ended Bayern’s 11-recreation unbeaten streak, and stored the German part winless in its final eight knockout video games away from home.
“We had a gradual start,” Guardiola mentioned.
“We ought to play at an extra p.C. Within the 2nd leg.Their intention was once extremely good, but it came from our mistake – we stored standing off him. I am no longer blissful with how we played. If we let them run and win fouls, it’s going to be difficult. It is now not a just right outcome.”
Bayern, within the semis for the fifth straight year, has been eradicated by means of Spanish golf equipment at this stage of the Champions League the final two seasons, to real Madrid in 2014 and Barcelona in 2015.
It was once the staff’s ninth loss in thirteen journeys to Spain.
Guardiola’s team controlled possession but was once now not equipped to break via the tight safety mounted via Simeone.
Bayern used to be equipped to threaten extra within the 2nd half of and created some clear scoring chances, however couldn’t capitalize on any of them.
Additionally to Alaba’s shot onto the crossbar, Bayern also got here practically scoring with a header with the aid of Javi Martinez within the 56th and a robust shot by means of Arturo Vidal in the 73rd.
Each attempts required complicated saves through Oblak, who has stored a smooth sheet in five straight games.
“We did very well within the second half of,” Alaba mentioned.
“We created a lot of possibilities, but in the end it wasn’t adequate.”
Atletico also hadn’t created a lot when Niguez scored to ignite the gang of greater than 50,000 lovers on the Calderon.
The midfielder left three defenders behind outside the area before moving into the field and clearing an additional one earlier than evenly firing a left-foot shot earlier Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The ball struck the a ways submit before going in.
“It was once undoubtedly the fundamental purpose of my career and in general the most wonderful one as good,” Niguez mentioned.
France striker Antoine Griezmann, who scored twice when Atletico eradicated Barcelona within the quarterfinals, virtually extended the lead from close variety in the 30th – but Neuer made a pleasant store with his left foot.
It was Atletico’s 25th win in 30 European games on the Vicente Calderon.
Simeone’s staff hasn’t lost at dwelling in 10 straight video games, winning eight.
Atletico has stored a clean sheet in 14 of its final sixteen Champions League video games at home.
It used to be the teams’ first assembly because the 1974 European final, when Bayern received the primary of its 5 titles. Atletico has in no way gained the Champions League.