Champions League: Atlético 1 – 0 Bayern

German champions put to the sword again as red and whites come out on top

The team celebrates Carrasco's goal

The team celebrates Carrasco's goal

It was a night to remember in the Vicente Calderón, with recent Champions League history repeating itself as Atlético Madrid ran out 1-0 winners over Bayern Munich.

Yannick Carrasco scored the game’s only goal in emphatic fashion in the first half, and despite a late Griezmann penalty miss, the red and whites held on for all three points.

Like in last year’s semi-final, the red and whites won by the single goal on virtue of hard work, solid defending and belief, much of which came from an incredible atmosphere created by a raucous home crowd.

As expected, the visitors enjoyed most of the possession but came up against an intense and charged up Atlético who put in a performance up there with their best under Diego Simeone.

The Argentine manager sprung a surprise in his press conference yesterday when he announced that Fernando Torres was to start, and his decision came inches from paying off in the first half.

However, after a corner from the left was flicked on, El Niño somehow headed against the post with Manuel Neuer’s goal gaping.

Usually against teams like Bayern you can’t afford to miss chances such as that, and it took something special to break the deadlock as Yannick Carrasco sent the Calderón into delirium ten minutes before half-time.

After picking up the ball from Griezmann deep inside the Bayern half, he opted not to pass to Torres and instead ran towards goal, before unleashing a rasping effort that flew past Neuer and into the net off of the post.

The German side had chances of their own, Franck Ribery poking the ball wide in space inside the box shortly after the goal although their biggest opening was early in the half, when Oblak thwarted Müller from close range.

Again, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s side who started the second half the stronger, but Atleti stuck to their guns and soon got a foothold, creating just as many chances as the visitors and looking dangerous every time they went forward.

Robert Lewandowski came closest to finding an equaliser, but could only head wide when Xabi Alonso picked him out splendidly with a cross from deep.

With less than ten minutes on the clock, Griezmann had the chance to kill the game from the penalty spot, but after Vidal had scytched down Filipe Luís the Frenchman could only find the crossbar with his effort.

He has now missed four out of six penalties for Atleti, and may well have to pass on duties to compatriot Kevin Gameiro for fans’ well-being more than anything else. Still, they belted his name out after the miss regardless.

Thankfully it didn’t prove costly, and the team dug deep to make sure of the clean sheet and a three points that sees us take control of Group D.

In the other match, Rostov and PSV played out a 2-2 draw which leaves them languishing in the distance. Two more wins should see us qualify before going to Munich on the final matchday.

Player ratings

Jan Oblak – 7

Made a crucial early save to deny Müller a clear chance, then did what Jan Oblak does to help the defence see out the match. Cool as a cucumber.

Juanfran – 8

Exceptional on the right hand side. He may be 31 now, but his energy is boundless and he defends just as well as he attacks. Lopetgui – who was in the crowd tonight – must give him a Spain recall.

Diego Godín – 8

Won a countless number of challenges and matched the intensity from the crowd more than anybody else. Whether it’s Bayern in the Champions League or a pre-season friendly, he defends with his life in every match.

Stefan Savic – 7

The perfect foil to Godín in defence. His judgement of the ball and reading of the game is exceptional, and like in April he had Lewandowski in his pocket. Are we saw he’s not Miranda in a mask?

Filipe Luís – 7

Made a few wrong decisions in attacking positions, but as always was there providing the threat and got his reward by winning the penalty when Vidal took him down. Faultless in defence.

Gabi – 8

Every year people say that Gabi will have less impact and need to take more of a back-up role, but he responds with performances like this. Covered every blade of grass, and was a step ahead of Bayern’s intricate midfield trio.

Koke – 9 (Man of the match)

One of his best performances in an Atleti shirt, and in central midfield to boot. Passing was spot on all night, and he worked tirelessly to protect the back four and move the team from defence into attack. Such a complete player.

Saúl Ñíguez – 7

Was a thorn in Bayern’s side with his clever use of the ball, relentless pressing and strength both in and out of possession. Great in games like this, even if some of his work goes unnoticed.

Yannick Carrasco – 8

Was having a fairly slow start to the season, but came to life tonight with a stunning winning goal and explosive all round performance. Carries the ball so well and always makes things happen, great to see him back in form.

Antoine Griezmann – 7

Deserved his penalty to go in after all of his running and work he put in all night, but thankfully the miss wasn’t costly. Lots of nice touches, always knew what to do in possession and can claim the assist for Carrasco’s goal.

Fernando Torres – 7

Justified his selection with an all action attacking performance, running the channels and giving Boateng and Martínez a physical battle in the final third. Really should’ve scored in the first half, but we’ll forgive him.


Kevin Gameiro – 6

Ran tirelessly in his short cameo and came back to help the defence. Had one shot but could only find the side-netting. Slowly but surely will be gaining Cholo’s trust.

Nico Gaitán – 6

Looked a little physically overawed at times. On the ball he looks a perfect fit but has work to do still. Looking forward to see him grow.

Thomas Partey – N/A

Do you agree with our ratings? Just how good was the performance tonight?

  • Karlp

    Probably our best game, like ever. The tempo, oh my poor heart. Never seen we keep this tempo for the whole 90min. Usually we go all out against Barca/Bayern/Real like this only for the first 10min and last 5-10min of each half.

    Very happy for Carrasco. Hopefully his outcome can be more consistent and he can connect better with the team.

    Absolutely agree with Koke as MOTM. His best game as CM, like ever. Juanfran in this last 2 games is really2 good. And Filipe, how come he didn’t dribble that fast, but still get past any player. Immense. Cheers for all the players. Everyone play good.

    On the side note, I think we are significantly weaker in header / set piece (at both ends), in comparison to the past few seasons. Probably because player like Miranda or Raul Garcia are gone, and Tiago isn’t starting 11 anymore. Godin is still very good, but I think Savic is not that strong in the air.

  • samer kozaylee

    All the players have performed well. Maybe Torres missed alot of chances but was almost defending. Gabi performance was amazing he has covered all the positions especially defensively.
    Carrasco finally has been rewarded by a goal , he always plays well against giant teams , previously he always hit the post but today it was different.
    The defense were impeccable especially Savic but might need some offensive headers skills.
    Griezmann were good but not as he used to be , I don’t know why he steps for the penalty. He does everything ( defending attacking almost a goal keeper) but once it comes to the most easy thing he missed it ( penalty). Should learn from Penaldo :p
    I don’t know why the referee is only harsh on us . Arturo Vidal need it a green card twice but he has escaped it as the referee is without personality.
    I hope next match in Russia we won’t freeze and we will win.
    Aupa Atleti

  • Boba Fett

    The only thing that puts even a bigger grin on my face, besides the titanic win, is the fact that the only times we heard about vidal in this game was for an idiotic tackle in the box and then for an even more idiotic one, 60 seconds later.
    That piece of shit called us “ugly” and undeserved winners, just because we masterly defended for one half, in a CL semifinal, with a 1-0 lead, on Allianz Arena. Who is the ugly one now, huh, you whiny little overrated bitch ??

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I don’t usually agree with your player ratings and man of the match selection, but Koke is absolutely my man of the match tonight .
    He seems more comfortable in the center game after game, his passing was unbelievable tonight, both long and short passes .
    I keep waiting for Saul to improve defensively, then we will have one of the best CM duo in the world .

    After Alaves & Leganes, I really didn’t expect to get all 6 points against Bayern & against PSV away, those were two great draws, they finally taught Simeone the lesson after our 1-0 wins with late goals last season couldn’t .
    Now Simeone realize that we can be a great attacking side without losing our defensive solidity, and I never understood what made him think we have to choose between them !

    Carrasco can and should score at least 15 goals every season, and if he succeed in that he will be one of the best wingers in the world (right now only Atleti fans -and not even all of them- consider him that) and Atleti will win many titles .

    I don’t think for a moment that Thiago and Vidal would have escaped the red card (Thiago escaped it twice) if they were playing for Atleti .
    Fuck you UEFA .

  • Paweł Kosiński

    OK, that’s it. Griezmann MUST be relieved of taking penalties. Problem is, Gameiro doesn’t have them mastered too – missed three last season with Sevilla. Would really like to see Gabi taking pens – of 9 taken so far, our captain has scored every one.

  • Koke

    What an incredible game. When you watch games like this one and the one we played against Sporting, all of the fans’ prior complaints make more sense – we CAN play incredible football, defensively AND offensively. The sky is the limit for this team, and I mean that. Everyone always says Barca, Bayern, and Madrid are the “big 3”, but why in the hell does Atleti not make that list? We’ve beaten each of these three teams convincingly at least once or twice in the past year or so. So long as we continue in the spirit of the game we played to day, fuck it, we’re favorites for the Champion’s League. Good things come to those who wait, and God knows we’ve waited a long time.

    Savic is a monster. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t know much about him when we signed him, but Simeone has turned him into an absolute beast – so underrated, I think he could be one of the world’s best defenders. Koke was a monster too. Some of the passes he makes in one touch, most other top players couldn’t make with several seconds to prepare, let alone have the vision to see those passes as options. THIS is why Koke belongs in the middle, and I can finally be sure that I’m not crazy to be sad every time he’s played out on the wings. Such a world class talent. Carrasco, as I say all the time, has so much potential and so much to offer. PERFECT player to have when you want to counter attack. Man, I can’t even imagine what kind of combinations Carrasco, Griezmann, and Gameiro will have when they gel more.

    This team is capable of so much. I think this will be the year things change – miraculously, Simeone seems to have learned so much in between the first two draws and now.

  • Koke

    I can just see Griezmann spending hours on the training pitch practicing penalties after today – that’s the kind of guy he seems to be. That being said, yeah, I’m still not sure who our penalty taker should be. Griezmann, Gameiro, Torres, Saul – none of these guys have proven particularly reliable (yet).

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’ve been asking to give penalties to Gabi since 2013/14 when Costa was missing them left and right, but it not gonna happen, I don’t know why, maybe Simeone is trying to help his strikers to compete for El Pichichi or trying to raise their confidence since many of them have been struggling to score .

    Tonight he said he will stick with Griezmann, and I think it’s wrong, but I guess he is trying to help him to win Ballon d’Or, and if he decided that he is no good for penalties then his chances could decrease significantly .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I don’t think penalties are about training, they are about nerves, and I’m afraid to say that Grizi don’t have them, look how long it took him to play the one against RM in UCL final last season .
    Missing twice against RM and once against Bayern is just too much, and even the one he scored against Barca was very poor and he was very lucky it went in .

    Now look at a player with nerves of steel like Raul Garcia, he took 3 penalties in 2014/15, when he became our first penalty taker :
    one against Real Madrid in a cup game (knockout game), one against Barca, also in Copa del Rey, and in a very complicated and very intense games, and one at the unfriendly San Mames in La Liga when the score was 1-1 .
    He scored all 3 of them .

    I think Grizi should be replaced by someone “cooler”, and there is absolutely no shame in that .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Savic was also a beast at Fiorentina, I can tell you that .

    Of course man management is one of the greatest virtues of Simeone, he has raised the level of almost all the players they played under him, including Savic, but I think who really deserves the praise is the one with a great eye who signed him, could be Simeone, could be Caminero or Berta, or could be all of them .

    A great signing, and a great bargain too, 15 million + Mario Suarez (sorry Mario) .

  • Atleti were arguably the better side in the 2nd! They switched to a hybrid high-press and really surprised the visitors in the second stretch.

  • starvs

    I want Gaitan to play more and I was upset that Carrasco got the nod, but he obviously had a good game. His passing/aware does need work though. Even on his goal, he passed up a wide open Torres to take a pretty low percentage shot. He does have a quality shot though, and you have to have confidence to score goals, so I guess I should be careful with my complaining.

  • AndersAT

    A great game to watch. Besides fielding an offensive midfielder Carrasco from start I was impressed with the offensive football we played after we scored. We didn’t just sit back and defend. We were absolutely better than Bayern. I really like Simeones new style.

    I think carrasco is great in the counterattack, and I think he is the better option against the “big” teams, while Gaitan is better against smaller teams and should start these games either with Carrasco or Correa.

    I am really looking forward to this CL season. We are really great in the knockout stage because we are so strong at the Calderon, and we are so hard to score against both at home and away.

  • roberto

    Congratulations. Big Performance. I think Atleti is now as strong as they were in 13/14 again and they have still some room for further development. Great. But I would liket to discuss, if it wouldn t be better for Atleti to close as 2nd in the group stage, instead of closing first. IF we are second behind Bayern, we avoid following super strong teams in the 8th Finals: ManCity (2nd behind Barca), Dortmund (2nd behind Real Madrid), maybe even Juve (2nd behind Sevilla). We have anyway the advantage not to meet the other 2 strong spaniards Real and BArca, thus our possible opponents would be: Napoli, Monaco, PSG or Arsenal, Leicester. IT would be much easier!

  • Motborgare

    I disagree. Our best performances usually come against tough top opponents, which is a mixture of them slightly underestimating us and us being mentally frenzied to the challenged and show our worth. No matter how much the club has chenged since Simeone too charge, it’s still in our DNA to sometimes think we can give 70% and walk away with games against lesser opponents.

  • roberto

    You are right. Interresting aspect. On the other hand winning against 4 Top-Teams in a row (8th final, Quarterfinal, Semifinal, Final) is very unlikely. It helps sometimes to have a weaker one inbetween. Maybe not in the 8th Final, but in the half-final it would be fine to have leicester or Monaco.

  • Mitch

    FT9 Torres, the unsung hero!

    Yes, Torres missed a couple of chances, but the fact he was there once again willing to go to war for Atletico
    seemed to whip the Vicente Calderon into a frenzy. If anything, he
    represented their club taking the fight to European royalty again, and
    the supporters were only too willing to get on board with that.

    That mention of “playing well at the top” would have been reserved for Torres, who was on the pitch for 79 minutes…

  • AndersAT

    Before Torres left for Liverpool he had a massive penalty problem. He missed so many that it was almost funny… almost.

    I also think griezman has a problem there. Missing in the CL final was pretty horrible. Gabi could be good. But we will probably stick with griezman, let’s hope he practices and gets a pair of steel balls.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Our offense and ability to keep the ball more often has definitly improved since last year. I am psyched about this years UCL. Since we are a better team, we should do better..Hint, hint. Two points that bothered me (needle in a hey stack kind of stuff): 1) Torres was exhausted by the 60 minute mark. He should have been taken off earlier than he was. 2) Griezmann, love ya man, but no more penalties for you. Sorry, Gamiero or Gabi are good at taking those. (Torres too, but he was not on the field.)

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I would have taken off Torres before Carrasco. Gaitan should have come on at the 60 minute mark and Gameiro/Correa at the 70 for Carrasco.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Thiago and Vidal both could have or should have recieved a red at some point. One of the two at least. But it is kind of good to see because we were frustrating the hell out of them. If Filipe been cut in anyway, that would have been a red card.

    Koke was so good (Still wish his corners were better). He had a passing % in the 90’s! Amazing!

  • Zinni DUDU

    Great comment, really ! He was, he is and he will be OUR nummer nine. Time passes but his love for that club will always be the same. Hopefully this current veteran Generation with Gabi, Torres, Juanfran, Luis and also Godin will finally win this f*cking champions league title. I think nobody deserverd this more than our club, for our history, for our ideology, for our values, for the love of the fans and for every single Person in this club, which are doing day in and day out such a great work !

    I will wait for that day, where Real will be on the ground and our players (hopefully with a team with Gabi, Torres, Juanfran and Luis) will lift that f*cking trophy.

    Make a photo of my comment and you will see in may of 2017 I was right and our players will lift that trophy !


  • Roberto

    One more thought: yes it is right in a knock out game atletico has against teams of minor quality, if this team acts with a strict defensive tactic, the same likelyhood to be knocked out, then against a team of the top 5 of the world, which normally act with an offensive an dominant tactic, paradox but true. But I am not sure if the knock uts against psv and leverkusen are really representative. Because Atleti was in february/march (time of 8th finals in the champions) 2016 as well as 2015 out of shape.