Champions League: Bayern’s perfect start wrecked by Atletico Madrid

0
178

Bayern Munich slumped to a first defeat under new coach Carlo Ancelotti when they were beaten 1-0 at Atletico Madrid in Champions League Group D. Yannick Carasco’s splendid first-half goal settled an intense contest.

Bayern were looking to avenge their elimination at Atletico’s hands in last season’s semifinals and new coach Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of Real Madrid between 2013 and 2015, was making his return to the Spanish capital.

The five-time European champions had opened their latest continental campaign with a 5-0 demolition of Rostov, while Atletico, who have reached the final of Europe’s elite club competition in two of the past three seasons, edged a 1-0 win at PSV Eindhoven.

On a warm night at the Vicente Calderon stadium, Bayern almost took an early lead but Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak pulled off a superb save to keep out a Thomas Müller volley.

Superbly marshaled

Fernando Torres squandered a great chance to put the home side ahead not long after, but headed against a post with the goal at his mercy.

Atletico’s superbly marshaled defense kept Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski quiet until just before the half-hour mark when he headed straight at Oblak from Philipp Lahm’s cross.

Then Atletico snatched the lead. Antoine Griezmann won the ball in the Bayern half, sent Carrasco galloping clear and the Belgian cracked the ball across Neuer and into the net off the far post.

Franck Ribery came close to leveling four minutes later but directed his snap shot just wide of the post after smart work from Lewandowski.

Müller and David Alaba had chances to equalize early in the second period and Lewandowski headed narrowly wide from Xabi Alonso’s cross with just over 10 minutes to go.

Ten minutes earlier, Carrasco had come close to a second but his curling effort was tipped away by Manuel Neuer.

Atletico should have put the result beyond doubt after Arturo Vidal conceded a penalty in the final passage for a clumsy challenge on Filipe Luis, but Griezmann struck his spot kick against the crossbar.

“Maradonna, Messi, Platini and Zico have all missed penalties, Griezmann will carry on taking them,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone told a post-match news conference.

“We are very happy with his work,” added the Argentina. “He started the counter attack for the goal and he did a thousand things. For me, he is in amongst the best forwards in the world.”

Intelligence, intensity

As well as praising the in-form France forward, Simeone also hailed the team’s overall performance.

“The teamwork today was brilliant. Such intelligence, intensity, winning the ball back and counter attacking.

“Today I liked everything. We pressed them well, when we sat back and set up for the counter we did it well. When we had to suffer we did. We were intense for the 90 minutes against a very hard side and it is one of the best achievements since I’ve been here at Atletico Madrid.”

Ancelotti said he and the Bayern players needed to look at what went wrong and move on.

“It was a tough game, as we expected,” he told a news conference. “We could have played better. We lost some balls and got hit on the counter. They scored and then I think we tried to get back into it but we were too slow. And for that I do not think we had too many chances to get back into it.”

With two matches played, Atletico top the group on a perfect six points, with Bayern on three in second. PSV and Rostov, who drew 2-2 in Russia, each have a point.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here