Last night’s second-leg semifinal matchup between Bayern Munich and Atlético de Madrid will go down in history, no doubt about it. 2-1 Bayern, 2-2 on aggregate with an away goal for Atleti.
What a fucking game.
Bayern ended with almost 70 percent possession on the night, a whopping 33 shots (11 on target) and 652 passes completed to Atleti’s seven shots (four on target) and 256 passes, but it wasn’t enough to push past Cholo and co.
Xabi Alonso (who was pretty dang sensational on the night) opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a free kick finish that deflected off of 21-year-old Uruguayan defender José Giménez and into the net.
1-0 Bayern, 1-1 on aggregate.
Then – no more than two minutes later – a Giménez foul in the box led to a Thomas Müller strike from the penalty spot. Not to fear, colchoneros. Don Jan Oblak to save the day!
Build the man a statue.
It was at this moment that most of us found ourselves thinking, “What the fuck could possibly be going through your head right now, Giménez?” But keep in mind, this youngster can ball.
Would you be surprised if I told you that Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone were fighting before half? No, of course not. Franck Ribery played peacemaker (who would have guessed?)
Hey, Mono Burgos was still smiling. Which is all we really care about anyways, right?
By the time the whistle blew, Bayern was up 15-2 on shots at goal. Something had to be switched.
Me? Well, I was half-wishing I was in Cholo’s locker room.
Simeone made one sub to start the second half, but that Atleti swagger seemed like it had somehow been brought back in full force. Augusto Fernández off, Ferreira Carrasco in.
Upon the completion of the match, Cholo commented that he “appealed to their pride” at halftime, “to do what has helped us get to this stage. We were able to start finding ourselves after the PK that Oblak saves. We regrouped in the dressing room.”
Whatever he did worked, because by the 54th minute, his team was level, thanks to Antoine Griezmann:
And just in case you thought his goal was offsides:
1-1, 1-2 on aggregate. With two goals needed against an impossible and impenetrable defense, we were all thinking it:
Then, Robert Lewandowski fired back. 2-1 Bayern, 2-2 on aggregate.
Ten minutes later – minute 84 – El Niño Torres had his chance to seal the deal with a sweetly slotted PK. It would’ve been too good to be true, wouldn’t it? This is the UCL semifinals, of course we need the added drama of not one but two missed penalties.
The game wouldn’t have been complete without Simeone doing something to get him another touchline ban, to be sure. So amidst classic Cholo chaos, he decided to slap his assistant coach on the shoulder. “Slap” is perhaps putting it lightly.
After five minutes of stoppage time and frantic fútbol around the Atleti goal box, the game ended 2-1.
2-2 on aggregate, Atlético de Madrid advances to the Champions League finals for the third time in club history.
Simeone described his team’s identity as “non-negotiable” following the game’s conclusion. “Regardless of the situation, we move forward.” Led by a legend like Juanfran, anything is possible.
Now to find out who will join them: Real Madrid or Manchester City.