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Bayern exit Champions League

Jefferson ChaseMay 3, 2016

Bayern Munich are out of the Champions League despite a 2-1 win in their home semifinal against Atletico Madrid. The tie ended 2-2 on aggregate, but only the Spaniards scored away from home. Bitter for Bayern.

Fußball Champions League FC Bayern München gegen Atletico Madrid
Image: Reuters/M. Rehle

Bayern Munich 2-1 (2-2) Atletico Madrid
(Alonso 31', Lewandowski 74' - Griezmann 54')

They won the battle and lost the war - albeit in thrilling fashion.

For Pep Guardiola, to win the Champions League in his final season with Bayern, the Bavarians needed to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of the semifinal in Madrid. The Catalan coach had departed the Champions League against Spanish opposition twice in a row, and he threw virtually all the firepower at his disposal on the pitch to break that negative streak.

Guardiola restored Bavarian favorite Thomas Müller to the starting line-up after controversially leaving him out the previous week, and veteran Franck Ribery also got the nod. At the back Jerome Boateng returned to the CL after getting injured in January, while Atletico were bolstered by the availability of Diego Godin in the back four.

Bayern racked up 70 percent possession against defense-obsessed Madrid, but it took twenty minutes for them to create their first chance. Müller snuck in behind his markers, forcing Jan Oblak to block a close-range Robert Lewandowski effort.

Fußball Champions League FC Bayern München gegen Atletico Madrid
Alonso got Bayern on the scoreboardImage: Reuters/K. Pfaffenbach

The hosts then set up camp in Atletico's half, and at the half-hour mark when David Alaba drew a free kick just outside the penalty area, fans in the Allianz Arena sensed a goal was at hand. Xabi Alonso obliged, curling a low shot into the wall - deflecting off Jose Gimenez - and into the net.

Only three minutes later, Gimenez was back in the spotlight, when he rugby tackled Javi Martinez in the box. Müller, Bayern's man for big goals, stepped up to take the penalty but, for the fourth time this season, he faliled to score from the spot, sending the ball too close to Oblak. But Bayern fans were still confident.

Munich supporters had good reason to be positive. Atletico were hanging on for dear life - and failing to keep Bayern honest in the slightest. But with a combination of fouls and defending somewhat higher up the pitch, Diego Simeone's men escaped into the changing rooms only one goal down.

One chance, one goal for Atletico

After the restart, it was more of the same for eight minutes, with an imperious looking Bayern pinning down Atletico, a site familiar to anyone who watches the German side regularly. Then Simeone's men showed the sort of ruthless efficiency that allowed them to take down mighty Barcelona in the last knockout round.

Boateng got caught out in the wrong half, and a long pass sent Antoine Griezmann off to the races. The Frenchman slotted past Manuel Neuer to level the score and give the visitors a huge away goal.

Fußball Champions League FC Bayern München gegen Atletico Madrid
Griezmann was the hero for AtleticoImage: Reuters/M. Rehle

Bayern now needed to score twice and had to walk a fine line between pressing and guarding against what would be an almost certainly deadly Madrid counter-attack.

Lewandowski responds, Torres chokes

With just over 15 minutes to play, a David Alaba cross found Arturo Vidal, who headed the ball back square for Lewandowski. Oblak was powerless this time. Bayern had climbed back in front but still needed a goal.

Bayern returned to full-attack mode, and Simeone was spinning like a top on the sidelines as Munich continually put the ball into Atletico's area. Then, six minutes from time, Atletico got a golden opportunity to confirm their latest upset.

Fußball Champions League FC Bayern München gegen Atletico Madrid
Lewandowski's goal wasn't quite enough for MunichImage: Reuters/M. Rehle

Javi Martinez brought down Fernando Torres as the Madrid forward was steaming toward Bayern's goal. The foul looked to come just outside the area, but referee Cüneyt Cakir pointed to the spot nonetheless. Hearts in mouths time for the Munich faithful, but Neuer easily parried Torres' weak penalty to lift the crowd again.

At the other end, Oblak did well to block attempts from Müller and Lewandowski, and five minutes of time was added on. Munich fans took courage from the fact that Bayern had scored in added time to beat Juventus in the quarterfinals.

There was to be no repeat this time round. Substitute Kingsley Coman had a decent opportunity, but Guardiola's men failed to test Oblak a final time. Bayern won the match 2-1, but exited European club football's premier competition 2-2 on aggregate.

Simeone's men will now await the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between Real Madrid and Machester City to learn who their opponent will be on May 28 in Milan.