Simeone’s Atletico Madrid reaches the finals for the second time in three years in spite of a 2-1 defeat against the Bayern Munich.
Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich failed to excel, although the team created enough (although missed) opportunities, to score the remainder goals to reach the finals.
Pep Guardiola commented on the loss that he was satisfied with the team’s performance in the late parts of the game, specially during the second half. Atletico’s goalie Oblak was fantastic, according to Guardiola, and the Atletico’s defensive game was something to admire.
Beating a team managed by Guardiola has become sort of an omen to the next winner of the Champions League, as the F.C. Barcelona did it last season, Real Madrid in 2014, Inter de Milan in 2010 and Chelsea Football Club in 2012.
The game was full of tension. One of the highlights of the match was when injury time took place; Atletico’s director Diego Simeone had one last substitution but it did not come off at the right time so Simeone outlet his fury by smacking in the arm the staff member responsible for filing the substitution. Simeone is known as a passionate director, but that same passionate behavior has earned him a temporary ban in La Liga Española.
The early 1-0 goal came from Xabi Alonso’s free-kick, raising the Atletico’s hopes as the Bayern found itself immersed in a drive for scoring. Alonso’s goal came half-hour into the game and Bayern upped their possession, leaving the Atletico’s defenses split along the field. Atletico’s Simeone managed to counter Bayern’s aggressive strategies by performing the substitutions in the right places.
Guardiola argued that his team played “to score,” but that they weren’t able to perform an effective first half. They needed to make one more goal, but he is arguably “satisfied” because his team was able to produce what it was intended to.
On the other hand, Atletico’s Fernando Torres commented that he was proud of his team after the match, which he described as a “siege.”
“We have had a very complicated path [to the final], we have beaten the best in Europe. We want to be champions. This team is ready to play against anyone” he commented.
The Atletico Madrid is to face Manchester City or Real Madrid, as both teams will face each other at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.