For the third year in a row, Bayern Munich were thwarted in the Champions League semi-final by a Spanish team, going out on away goals to Atlético Madrid.
Atlético got revenge on Bayern after they beat them at this stage 40 years ago, and they are going back to the Champions League Final for the first time since 2014. The biggest difference between the Atlético side that reached the 2014 Champions League Final and this year is Antoine Griezmann, who makes their counter-attack that much deadlier, and he provided the crucial away goal in this leg.
While Thomas Müller was out of the starting lineup in the first leg, he drew the start this time around. Meanwhile, Diego Godin came back from injury to fortify the back-line. Atlético needed all the help they could get at the back, and Godin is one of the best centre-backs in the world, so his presence was a big boost to the team.
As expected, the first half was practically all Bayern Munich. They dominated possession, winning 71% of it, and outshot Atlético 17-2. Atlético's best chance came from Griezmann in the 14th minute, but Manuel Neuer stood tall.
Atlético finally conceded the first goal of the semifinal in the 30th minute of the second leg, when they gave up a free kick just outside the box. Xabi Alonso was the one who got on the end of it and fired it past Jan Oblak, as it took a deflection off of José Giménez and went in. This shifted the match entirely, as the worst Bayern could do from this point was go to penalties.
Giménez clearly let nerves get the better of him after that first goal. First, Alonso's free kick deflected off of him and in, then he conceded a penalty only two minutes later. Thankfully for him, Oblak stood tall and denied Müller, one of the best penalty takers, from the spot. It was a massive save for Atlético because, had it gone in, they would've been forced to score, which would've left them open to concede more goals.
After a dominant first half by Bayern Munich, Atlético got the breakthrough they desperately needed. Fernando Torres played in Griezmann in the 53rd minute, who sprinted straight past the Bayern defense and beat Neuer one-on-one.
Needless to say, the match totally shifted after Griezmann’s goal, as it meant that Bayern needed to score two before the end of the half in order to win. But it was Atlético who looked hungrier for goals after that, as they started dictating the tempo and created more chances.
But after knocking on the door for so long throughout the match, Robert Lewandowski finally got his goal in the 73rd minute. For as good as Atlético are defensively, they weren't going to keep the second-highest goalscorer in the Champions League off the scoresheet forever. And just like how he sparked the comeback against Juventus in the 75th minute, he did the same here as Bayern needed just one more goal to advance to the Final.
Atlético had a golden opportunity to kill off the tie when referee Cuneyt Cakir awarded a penalty to them in the 82nd minute even though multiple replays showed Torres being tackled outside of the box. But when Torres was given the chance to repeat his actions with Chelsea when he sent them to the Champions League Final against Barcelona, Neuer saved his penalty, leaving both teams squandering a big chance from the spot.
However, despite five minutes of added time, Atlético held on and are going back to the Champions League Final in one of the most memorable matches you're ever going to see.
While Diego Simeone was attempting to make a substitution in the 92nd minute, he shoved the linesman which could see him get suspended for the Final if UEFA decide to take disciplinary action. It'll be interesting to see if he indeed escapes punishment.
But whether they face Manchester City or Real Madrid in the Final, they have to fancy their chances after beating arguably the best two teams Europe has to offer back to back.