Atletico Madrid progressed to the final of the UEFA Champions League for the second time in three years despite a 2-1 loss at the hands of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night.
Diego Simeone’s side progressed on the away goals rule with an aggregate score of 2-2 after winning the first leg of their semifinal in Madrid 1-0.
Atletico led courtesy of Saul Niguez’s solo goal at the Vicente Calderon last week but Bayern had won their last 11 Champions League games in Munich.
The Bavarians opened the scoring through a Xabi Alonso free-kick in the first half to pile pressure on the visitors.
However, the dogged spirit that has characterised the Spanish club’s display this season saw Antoine Griezmann level the scoring in the 54th minute to put Atletico in the driving seat, before Robert Lewandowski headed Bayern back in front on the night in the 74th to set up a furious finale.
But they could not find a second as Atletico progressed on away goals, with Bayern suffering more semi-final woe while Diego Simeone’s side will face either Real Madrid or Manchester City in Milan at the end of the month.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone described Bayern as “the best team that I played against in my career. It’s great to see how my team played with such intensity. I was literally in love with this game.”
“We have played against two of the three best teams in Europe. We’ve knocked them out, and I’m very proud of that,” he added.
Atletico striker Fernando Torres, who had the chance to settle it with a late penalty, only for Manuel Neuer to save his spot kick said he had no preference over another Madrid derby or an Anglo-Spanish final in Milan.
“We have the chance to create history,” he said. “We want to win the tournament and the opponent is irrelevant.”
Also speaking after the game, Bayern midfielder Vidal made it clear the result did not reflect the pattern of the game he felt his side dominated.
“We were superior,” the Chile international said. “We controlled the game, but we did not finish off the chances we had
“Atletico did exactly what they have been doing all year in their league and took advantage of their chances.”
He however, blasted Diego Simeone’s style of football, stating the Spanish club did not deserve their place in the final in the May 28 final in Milan.
“Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world,” he added. “The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.
“They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.
“The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.”
Atletico’s neighbours Real Madrid will host Manchester City at the Bernabeau on Wednesday night for a place in the final