Time might have handed however the scars nonetheless burn scorching — and maybe its rivals would do nicely to keep in mind that.
For Diego Simeone, its coach who kicks each ball, makes each deal with and acts as cheerleader to these packed contained in the Calderon, the chance for redemption stays.
It was inside Lisbon’s Estadio de Luz, that Atletico had dared to dream. It had already secured the La Liga title, defeating the giants of Barcelona andf Actual Madrid — however probably the most valuable prize was within reach.
When Diego Godin gave it a thirty sixth minute lead, it appeared that Diego Simeone’s aspect would win the European crown and in flip forestall Actual from clinching the prize it so badly craved — ‘La Decima’ — an unprecedented tenth title.
And but, it was to not be. For within the third minute of damage time, Sergio Ramos, the Actual defender, headed house Luka Modric’s nook to pressure additional time the place his aspect went on to attain three extra with out reply.
Atletico was shattered.
Now, two years on, Atletico, having overcome the may of Barcelona within the quarterfinal, is as soon as once more on target for the ultimate.
Saul Niguez’s eleventh minute strike, a fairly luxurious effort, secured a 1-zero victory for Atletico and leaves it inside touching distance of redemption.
“He (Saul Niguez) is in an excellent second,” Filipe Luis, the Atletico defender, advised BT Sport.
“He is an effective man, he is younger however together with his ft on the bottom, immediately he had no worry, he went one-on-one with everybody
“I feel it was a very lovely objective, among the best on this Champions League.”
This victory might have been much more emphatic had Fernando Torres’ effort not struck the submit after the ahead had weaved his approach by way of the Bayern protection, however Atletico will journey to Munich in assured temper.
Second in La Liga, and in effective type, there are few who would again towards a group held collectively by a spirit which lots of its rivals have discovered inconceivable to beat.
It defends from the entrance, fights for each other, hunts in packs and by no means is aware of when it’s crushed.
In its 35 league video games this season, it has solely conceded sixteen objectives. It has stored 5 clear sheets in succession and confirmed as soon as extra why its protection is one of the best in European soccer.
“We performed to win and to attain and never concede,” Jan Oblak, the Atletico goalkeeper, informed BT Sport.
“It was essential to attain that objective, Saul did an awesome job. Bayern is a tremendous staff with superb gamers, however all our gamers confirmed we will cease them and I hope that within the subsequent recreation we’ll do it once more. “We respect them however we by no means have worry.”
Bayern, having been left surprised within the opening interval, emerged a much more threatening proposition after the interval and got here inside inches of leveling inside 9 minutes of the restart.
David Alaba, enjoying in central protection, strode ahead and unleashed a rasping effort from forty-yards which flew previous Oblak within the Atletico objective earlier than crashing towards the crossbar.
Bayern, unbeaten since March, then went shut as soon as once more when Javi Martinez rose to ship his header in the direction of aim from shut vary just for Oblak to save lots of on the road.
From having appeared impotent within the opening interval, Bayern started to point out the type of type which has enabled them to comb all earlier than it within the Bundesliga.
Douglas Costa lobbed an effort simply vast of the far publish and Arturo Vidal pressured Oblak to show away his rasping drive from 20-yards.
Robert Lewandowski, who has now failed to attain in eight of his previous 9 Champions League video games outdoors the Allianz Area, was hardly given a sniff.
And but, for all its strain, Bayern was indebted to the woodwork in making certain it remained alive on this tie.
Fernando Torres, who has loved one thing of a renaissance after returning to his boyhood membership, danced his method into the penalty space earlier than prodding the ball in the direction of aim utilizing the surface of his foot.
It appeared for all of the world that the ball would fall and nestle within the nook and but it hit the submit and ran away to security.
Bayern continued to push –Atletico, backed by Simeone and his legion of supporters, remained unmoved. The fortress wouldn’t be taken.
For Simeone and his gamers, redemption is inside touching distance — and so is Actual Madrid.
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