Atlético face Bayern in Champions League semi-final

It's a trip to Germany for Atlético on the road to Milan

Bayern celebrate after going through against Benfica on Wednesday

Bayern celebrate after going through against Benfica on Wednesday

It will be a repeat of the 1974 European Cup final as Atlético Madrid take on Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of this year’s Champions League.

It’s the first time these teams have met since that final, when a last gasp goal from Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck cancelled out Luis Aragonés’ opener, sending the tie to a replay which the German side won 4-0.

The first leg will be played at the Vicente Calderón on Wednesday 27th April, with the return in Munich at the Allianz Arena a week later on Tuesday 3rd May.

We come up against a familiar face in Pep Guardiola, who will be hoping to deliver Bayern the Champions League at the third time of asking before heading off to fellow semi-finalists Manchester City in July.

The Bavarian side are the runaway leaders of the Bundesliga and veterans of European competition, having lifted the continent’s most coveted trophy five times – most recently in 2013 when they edged Borussia Dortmund in the final.

It is the fifth consecutive season in which they have faced Spanish opposition in the semi-final, twice playing Real Madrid and Barcelona every year since 2011 with a win and a loss against each.

Simeone has only come up against Guardiola once in his career, losing 2-1 against his Barcelona side in 2012 through a late Lionel Messi free-kick at the Vicente Calderón.

The rojiblancos have won their last six ties against German opposition, most recently edging past Bayer Leverkusen on penalties last year.

After that match, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge criticised Atleti’s style of play, and judging by his quotes he won’t be particularly pleased with today’s draw.

“The last thing I wanted was to have played against Atletico Madrid, because football is about joy and entertainment and that is something they do not believe in,” he said last April.

If a place in the Champions League final wasn’t enough motivation for Cholo and his players, that should fire them up for what should be an intriguing double header against Die Roten.

Whoever goes through to the final in Milan will be recognised as the away team, with the winner of Real Madrid and Manchester City getting the notional home advantage.

Are you happy with the draw? Can Atleti get revenge on Bayern some 42 years on?

  • Karlp

    goodness me…
    o well, partido a partido, come on Granada

  • thericeking

    dammit.. they are so good.. maybe they will be complacent since they dominate their league but this will be very hard.. man c would have been so much better..

  • Koke

    Of course we get the worst possible team to face out of three, meanwhile our neighbors get the best one…

    We shouldn’t be afraid though. Bayern aren’t exactly in sparkling form (they could only win 3-2 aggregate against Benifica) and Atleti can certainly employ a similar game plan that they did against Barca. Plus, on the bright side, this game will be an excellent measuring stick for us – we’ve seen our team play Barca and Madrid a million times, but Bayern? Now we can really earn our stripes and prove how good we are.

    Besides, this sounds crazy, but it’s true. We play much better against better teams. I’ve seen this team struggle against the likes of PSV, Benifica, Sporting Gijon, Getafe, etc… but against Barca and Madrid we almost always play the game of our lives. Simeone loves being the underdog, and I think after beating Barca our players are feeling pretty confident in whatever the hell they do.

  • elkilo

    This will be a tough game but somehow I am very optimistic. We showed that we could beat anyone altough we played only nerve-racking games against PSV and Barca.
    And I also think that F. Torres will shine against Bayern… but let’s take it partido a partido.

    I’m also gonna try if I can get tickets for the game in Munich, it’s only 3 hours with the car from me.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Am I missing something? I thought the ones who everyone didn’t want to draw was US! It never mattered to me who we got in this round or any other round before, it only mattered that we showed up to play our game.

    I love the fact that we always have to prove it the hard way to doubters and bandwagon supporters that we should ALWAYS be in the conversation of the so called big teams and I’m relishing this tie.

    I hope Oliver is used tho because he helped pick Bayern apart last season with Porto in that first leg.

    Aupa Atleti!!!

  • Kris

    Nice draw, I love it. Its going to be even more tactical than Barca vs Atleti.

  • Koke

    Agreed, I think Oliver would be really important against a team that has so many technically brilliant players of its own, Bayern. Ever since Pep moved, Bayern are the real possession masters, not Barcelona. I have absolutely no faith in Simeone using Oliver though 😀

    This type of game can’t be won with just our forwards imo, because unlike Barcelona, who has AVERAGE defenders in Mascherano, Alba, Alves, etc, Bayern has world class defenders like Boetang, Alaba, Lahm, Neuer, etc. Those players are no pushovers. It’d be hard to see Griezmann winning a header against those guys like he did in the last game.

    Torres will be huge for us. He’s a big game player. Carrasco and Griezmann too, because our only real chances will probably come on pacy counters. Lastly we’ll need a combination of steel and technicality in the midfield, but I’m sure Simeone will be willing to sacrifice the technicality.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Only thing I disagree with is about the defence. Bayern’s defenders aren’t as good as some people think, Lahm and Alaba maybe but Boetang? Nah

  • Parsa

    I don’t know if you guys have noticed it or not, But most of our players have found nearly their best possible form at the most important part of the season. We’re back to the state where Gabi is probably our most important player, Felipe is rocking on the left flank, Koke is that hard working genius again, And Torres with that nostalgic hair style is playing like he is 22 not 32. Besides that, If we beat Bayern in the semis and possibly Real in the final, Not only we have beaten the last 3 winners of UCL all at once, but we’ve also taken our revenge from both Real & Bayern. 2 months ago when we were struggling to find the net, I was so disappointed that I was feeling our season is probably over. Now for the last 2 days, I’ve been very excited for some fairytale endings in May and all these signs just can’t help to stop these wonderful feelings. Do you feel the same? Can we dare to dream?

  • Parsa

    We’re never in the conversation, People always dismiss us, They always underestimate us, and they even make fun of our playing style. Normally this should be annoying. But I love this! It’s just so motivational to see all these before our big wins. We’re always humble and want to be the underdog. I think that’s our biggest strength. And I’m glad I’m not alone in this and you feel the same.

  • Karlp

    We need to be very careful on the flank.
    Unlike Messi and Neymar who like to drift inside, Bayern have natural winger like Costa and Coman that will go to the far corner and poach the ball to Lewa or Müller.
    Dortmund plays the most effective defense I’ve seen against Bayern on their last meeting (5 March) by transforming their back 4 into back 5 when defending.
    But if we play with back 4, I think our RW & LW will need to be extra careful.

  • Karlp

    We need to be very careful on the flank. Unlike Messi and Neymar who tends to drift inside, Bayern has natural winger like Costa and Coman that will go to the far corner and poach the ball to Lewa or Müller.

    Dortmund plays the best defense system I’ve seen to counter Bayern on their last meeting (5 March) by transforming their back 4 into back 5 when defending.

    I’m not sure whether we will need it or not, but if we do, instead of the 4-5-1 we usually play when defending, it will be 5-4-1 when defending. The only player I can see that able to move from midfield to defender to midfield again like that is Saul. So the back 5 will be Juanfran-Saul-Godin-Gimenez-Filipe. The normal position will be 4-3-3 with Saul-Gabi-Koke in the middle and Griezmann-Torres-Carrasco up front. Last time Dortmund plays like this with Durm in Saul’s place.

  • atleti10

    Well said, I completely agree with that tactic.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I agree with Jeronamo, Bayern’s defense isn’t that good, but I will include Lahm & Alaba too, they are good attackers when they play as full backs (Pep keeps changing their positions) but they are average defenders .
    I can see Grizi easily winning a header against Lahm, Alaba, Rafinha or Bernat who sometimes plays as a LB .

    Bayern & Barca defenders are very skillful, maybe even more skillful than many other team’s attackers, and that’s -in my opinion- is a weakness .
    They are not so great in tackles and blockings, they don’t usually clear balls to throw-ins or corners, no, they consider that a shameful act !! they must dribble the opponent or pass the ball to a teammate, usually the GK, just like they are so proud to play a long goal kick, the GK must pass to the nearest defender, and that has cost them a lot .
    Grizi header against Barca came like that, Alba just doesn’t know how to clear a ball from his final third, he was never taught that ! and Juve’s third goal in Allianz Arena which was incorrectly cancelled came because Neuer is “not allowed” to play a long goal kick, even if there is no free teammate to pass to !

    Barca and Pep’s Bayern don’t concede a lot of goals, but not because they have strong defense, it’s because they keep attacking almost all the game, but when they get under attack, they are very vulnerable .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    This may surprise many of you, but I really still have faith that Simeone still has faith in Oliver .

    I also believe that Simeone must give Oilver another chance next season, just like he did with Adrian after a very poor season in 2012-13, he kept him for 2013-14, and without him maybe we wouldn’t have passed Barca or Chelsea .
    Oliver too must stay and fight, he must go to Simeone and say to him :
    “Boss, what I’m doing wrong, and how do you want me to correct it”

    I hear a lot : “Oliver is not a Simeone player”, and with all due respect,
    I think it’s bullshit, what the fuck is a “Simeone player” ??!!!
    Oliver is a very skillful, very talented, very smart and very hard working kid, and he can fit in any system there is, he can become a “Simeone player”, but somebody has to tell him and us the definition of a “Simeone player”, because Falcao, Costa, Grizi & Torres / Carrasco, Saul & Raul are very different players, but they are all “Simeone players” .