Saul strikes gold for Atletico – Champions League

“I love you” was spelled out by the Atletico fans this evening as the Madrid club welcomed Bayern to the Vincente Calderon. It was billed as a David vs Goliath tie as the street fighters Ateltico took on German giants Munich. The underdog came out on top tonight.

The scene that welcomed the players tonight.
The scene that welcomed the players tonight.

Atletico started with their trademark intensity and never gave the visitors a moment of peace in the opening minutes. Bayerns early efforts were cleared well by an Atletico defence missing talisman centre-back Diego Godin. Both sides were eager to break the deadlock and it was only a matter of time for the home side.

With just 11 minutes played midfielder Saul Niguez took off on a solo run beating Bernat,Alonso and Thiago before curling a low shot into the far corner of Manuel Neuer’s net. A sublime solo effort sent the Calderon into pandemonium.Atletico had completed their objective and allowed Bayern to come into the came. Despite dropping back further Atletico’s defence stayed firm and forced Bayern to shoot from range. Diego Simeone’s men went into the break a goal up.

Saul Niguez celebrates his fantastic goal.
Saul Niguez celebrates his fantastic goal.

Bayern came out rejuvenated in the second half and pushed for an equaliser right from the restart. Atletico dropped even deeper with the centre-back paring of Gimenez and Savic staying tight and the midfielders offering protection. Bayern’s first chance to level the score came from David Alaba. The Austrian’s long range strike had Jan Oblak beaten in the Atletico goal but the crossbar saved Madrids blushes.

Bayern enjoyed the lion share of possession but Atletico absorbed most of the Germans attacks. Kingsley Coman beat Filipe Luis on a number of occasions but his crosses failed to find a teammate. A corner produced Bayerns next chance when centre-back Javi Martinez rose well to head towards goal but Oblak was alert to the danger and got down well to keep his side ahead.

Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal had a mixed night tonight picking up a yellow card but he forced Oblak into action to bat his strike away.Despite introducing Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller into the game Pep Guardiola’s side still couldn’t find a way through the determined Atletico defence. In fact it was Ateltico who went close next. A piece of individual skill from Fernando Torres saw the Spaniard’s effort rattle off the post to Koke who’s shot was caught by Neuer. Chances for Douglas Costa and substitute Medhi Benatia just weren’t to be for Bayern and Atletico held on.

Bayern's Roberto Lewandowski and Arturo Vidal take a breather.
Bayern’s Roberto Lewandowski and Arturo Vidal take a breather.

Atletico Madrid head to the Allianz Area with a slender one goal lead but will be boosted by the return of Diego Godin for the second leg. Bayern will look to improve on a overall poor performance next Tuesday as they look to defeat the industrious Ateltico.

It’s advantage Atletico but this tie is far from over.




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