Tuesday night, we saw two of the best teams from Germany and Spain face off as Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid battled to a 2-2 draw. Wednesday night, we were blessed with a similar type of matchup as Atlético Madrid and Bayern Munich took the pitch in the Spanish capital. In their opening matches of the group stage, both sides grabbed W’s, and whoever managed to grab this result would gain some valuable ground on the race for the top spot.
In the 13th minute, Bayern had the first big chance of the match. Thiago Alcantara’s chipped through ball fell perfectly to Thomas Müller, and the German fired a powerful drive on target. Luckily for the hosts, Jan Oblak was there to deny him with a diving save at the near post.
Six minutes later, Atlético had a great chance of their own. Yannick Carrasco’s low drive nearly caught Manuel Neuer out at the near post, but the keeper came up with a strong save to knock the effort away.
The hosts should have taken the lead in the 22nd minute when Fernando Torres found himself with a wide open header at the back post. Unfortunately, El Niño decided to relive his days at Chelsea with a misguided header against the woodwork. Bayern live to die another day.
Just after the half hour mark, the match got its first goal of the day. Carrasco made up for Torres’ egregious miss earlier in the half. A barnstorming run from the Belgian ended with a low drive into the far side-netting, and the Spanish side found themselves with a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Bayern came out firing on all cylinders for the second 45 minutes. Müller and David Alaba both tried their luck, but neither was able to find a way past Oblak. Just after the hour mark, Carrasco again tested Neuer, but this time the German came up with the save. The two sides continued to exchange chances, and both of them struggled to get their shots on target.
As the match entered the final ten minutes, Atlético had a wonderful chance to double their lead and seal the match. A mistimed challenge from Arutro Vidal on Filipe Luis just inside the penalty area gifted the hosts a spot kick, and who else but Antoine Griezmann would step up to slot it home. Based on his form, you would’ve bet your house on him putting away his spot kick.
Unfortunately, the 25-year-old smashed his effort off the bar and Atlético’s lead was held to just one goal. Would this missed opportunity come back to bite them?
A late header form Arjen Robben in the 96th minute didn’t have the power to beat Oblak, and the summarized Bayern’s attack for the majority of the match. The German’s had plenty of chances to find the back of the net, but they either couldn’t get them on target, or get enough on them to really test Oblak.
When the final whistle blew, Atlético had claimed all three points and now sat atop Group D. Bayern, on the other hand, now sit in second ahead of Rostov and PSV Eindhoven. The Spanish club now face back-to-back matchups against the Russian club, while Bayern face a difficult double date with PSV.