UEFA Champions League 2016-17: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich - 5 talking points
Carlo Ancelotti’s perfect start to his tenure at Bayern Munich came to an end at the Vicente Calderon when Atletico Madrid beat them for the second time in five months. Diego Simeone got the better of ‘Don Carlo’ yet again making it five wins against the Italian.
The Bavarians dominated possession but it was Atletico’s Yannick Ferreira Carrasco who was the difference between the two teams. A goal scored by the Belgian winger in the 35th minute was enough to see the Red-and-Whites finish Matchday 2 at the top of Group D with six points.
Atletico could have extended their lead after Arturo Vidal ran into Filipe Luis inside the box. He was awarded a penalty but in a repeat of the Champions League final, Griezmann missed and hit the crossbar.
This group stage clash was a chance for the German club to get revenge on Simeone and his men for their semi-final exit last season but they’ll have to wait till the return fixture to try again. Atletico maintained their perfect start to the Champions League and made it 26 victories in 31 games in Europe.
Here are five talking points from the clash of the European heavyweights
#1 Atletico Madrid’s work ethic
Atletico Madrid’s performance against Bayern Munich alone should assure Simeone that he made the right decision by staying on as manager this summer. Atletico played their best game this season as they formed an impenetrable wall in front of Bayern’s determined attack.
It is rare to see a team play with as much cohesion as the Spanish club did. All ten outfield players, especially the defenders, were quick to recover and track back without any hesitation.
Every time they lost the ball to a Bayern player, they were back in position and getting into shape to close off any avenues of attack. While Ancelotti’s men were passing the ball around, probing, looking for a way in, Simeone’s men were closing in on them.
They played with immense energy and pounced on every opportunity to attack in large numbers with ruthless speed.
Despite the narrow margin between the two teams, it was Atletico’s work rate, their ability to be quicker on the ball and their movement off it that set them apart from their opponents.