Diego Simeone and Atletico have once again proved me wrong. Earlier, I had predicted that, as much as I was rooting for them, Bayern’s offensive firepower would be too much for them. Especially in Munich. However, after today’s scrappy win, I’m truly convinced in “el Cholo” and his methods.
For the fourth straight CL game, Atletico came out with the same exact game plan, and once again, delivered. They had no desire to go up and attack in the first half, shown by their two shots on goal. Even after Xabi Alonso’s goal and Müllers blocked penalty, the team didn’t even attempt to attack.
That’s the thing with Atletico. They’re so strong defensively that you run out of ideas to penetrate and create danger. They lure you in, and as soon as your defenders start creeping up, BOOM. They get you on a counterattack. This time, the perpetrator was Antoine Griezmann. The man with ice in his veins. Three “game winning” goals in the last month itself, two against Barcelona and Bayern.
Pep Guardiola was simply at a loss of words. In the press conference after the game, he admitted he was at a loss of words and had nothing to say to his players, who left it all on the field. I agree. Though it wasn’t their best tactical game, Bayern came out and left it all on the field. To win a Champions League, one must have a deep and competitive team and receive some form of luck somewhere down the line. Unfortunately for the Germans, Lady Luck was with Atletico tonight.
Two Champions League finals in three years for “los colchoneros”, who will surely want to erase the nightmare that was Lisbon in 2014. Now, Atletico must patiently wait for their rivals tomorrow, as Real Madrid hosts Manchester City. If it’s Real Madrid, it’ll be another Madrid derby and rematch of 2014. If it’s Manchester City, it’s a battle between two clubs who are looking for their first title. Regardless of their opponent, Atletico will be ready to play.